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JCI at a Glance References Selected Projects Assessment of the Impact of the Aerobic State on the Protection and Use of Intergranular Aquifers
Assessment of the Impact of the Aerobic State on the Protection and Use of Intergranular Aquifers PDF Print E-mail

Assessment of the Impact of the Aerobic State on the Protection and Use of Intergranular Aquifers in Serbia

altClient:
Serbian Ministry of Science and Technological Development

Project Participants:

  1. Jaroslav Černi Institute
  2. University of Belgrade, School of Mining and Geology

Project Manager:
Prof. Milan Dimkić, Ph.D.C.E. (JCI)

Project Beneficiaries:

  1. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Serbia/National Water Directorate
  2. Belgrade Water Supply and Sewerage Utility
  3. Naissus Utility of the City of Niš
  4. Electric Power Industry of Serbia/Iron Gate Hydroelectric Power Plants

The aerobic state is one of the major factors which affect biochemical clogging of water wells and the transformation of groundwater quality. Assessments of the impact of the aerobic level on these processes reflect a new approach to the study of groundwater. In Serbia, drinking water supply generally relies on groundwater. Cities along rivers most often use water abstracted from shallow alluvial aquifers. At many groundwater abstraction sites, river water quality affects groundwater quality at the source, determines source protection measures, and often leads to water well capacity decline over time. Research and investigations have shown that a natural aerobic state is a reliable indicator of good groundwater abstraction conditions. An increase in aerobic level using artificial means is very useful for the maintenance of existing sources and the planning of future sources of drinking water supply.

The main objectives of the project are to:

  • Assess the transformation of water quality under aerobic and anaerobic conditions;
  • Define the dependence of well clogging on the aerobic level, the mineral composition of the aquifer, and the biochemical composition of water;
  • Recommend optimum well-maintenance approaches;
  • Examine well-regeneration methods;
  • Study the effect of the aerobic state on the establishment of sanitary protection zones;
  • Classify Serbia’s main aquifers and assess their water balance, use and protection.

Investigations were conducted at the following sites:
1.    The Belgrade Groundwater Source,
2.    The Mediana Artificially-Recharged Groundwater Source in the City of Niš; and
3.    The „Knićanin-Čenta“ and „Kovin-Dubovac“ drainage systems.

The main results of these investigations are:

  • Field and laboratory work (e.g., of sediment, chemical and microbiological analyses);
  • An assessment of the capacity variation at selected wells over time;
  • Local and regional hydrodynamic models;
  • Parameters and methodologies for the definition of the correlation between the variation in well capacity and the conditions of their immediate environment;
  • A classification of selected sites based on aerobic level;
  • Numerous papers presented at conferences and published in journals, and the international monograph “Groundwater Management in Large River Basins”.

Correlation between Total Iron (Fetot), Redox Potential (Eh), and Water Well Discharge (Q) at the Belgrade Groundwater Source  

Correlation between Total Iron (Fetot), Redox Potential (Eh), and Water Well Discharge (Q) at the Belgrade Groundwater Source

Design criteria for new radial-well laterals at the Belgrade Groundwater Source


Design criteria for new radial-well laterals at the Belgrade Groundwater Source  

Summary Benefits

The results of the project were used as a basis for development of recommendations for a capacity increase at the Belgrade Groundwater Source and for proposing the maintenance approaches to be applied at the studied sites. Project activities included two campaigns of extensive investigations of the presence of pharmaceuticals in river water and groundwater, the first of the kind in Serbia. Additionally, comprehensive hydrochemical, microbiological and sediment analyses led to the development of a methodology for aerobic level testing, which applies to large alluvial aquifers.

 
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