Heavy Metals in Waters and Sediments of Rivers Affected by Brown Coal Mine Waters
Ryszard Staniszewski
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Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection, Faculty of Reclamation and Environmental Engineering,
Poznań University of Life Sciences, Piątkowska 94 C, 60-649 Poznań, Poland
Submission date: 2014-02-11
Final revision date: 2014-04-12
Acceptance date: 2014-05-09
Publication date: 2014-12-16
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2014;23(6):2217–2222
As many as four rivers affected by brown coal mine waters were surveyed: Noteć (Lubstów open-pit mine), Pichna (Tomisławice), Widawka (Bełchatów), and Grójecki Channel (Drzewce). Identical procedures of sampling and laboratory analyses were applied in all of them. Heavy metal concentrations, pH reaction, and conductivity in river sediments were analyzed in warm periods of 2012 and 2013 to assess the impact of mine waters on riverbed material. Data on heavy metal concentrations, pH, and conductivity of water were recorded in warm periods in 2011-13. For the Lubstów open-pit mine, closed in the year 2009, data from water samples collected in 2004-05 were used. Results showed that the impact of lignite mine waters on total heavy metals in river sediments was low in the case of the Noteć and Pichna rivers. In Grójecki Channel at the site situated 1 km below the mine waters discharge the total heavy metal concentration in the bottom substrate was significantly higher than above the mine waters discharge outlet. An opposite trend was observed in the Widawka River sediments (715 mg of heavy metals·kg-1 of dry matter), where the total heavy metal concentration in the substrate 1 km below the mine waters discharge outlet decreased by approx. 44%. This was related to low concentrations of heavy metals in the Bełchatów mine waters, amounting to 0.033 mg·L-1.