The Geological Society of America

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Arsenic content of groundwater got reduced through storage in ponds


Chemical analysis of arsenic contaminated pond water of fifteen sample ponds had revealed that suspended solids in pond water always contributed to the total arsenic content of pond water and that contribution was always highest during pre-monsoon to post-monsoon (early April to late September). Those suspended solids after flocculation would be sedimented at the bottom of the ponds and, thus, through such sedimentation process the pond water would be further dearsenified and thereby through storage in ponds arsenic content got reduced. Such studies need location-specific need-based application. More at:

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  • July 7, 2012
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  • Bernhard H.


    Bernhard H.

    Geological Consultant in Mineral Exploration at B Hochwimmer & Associates Pty Ltd

    Bernhard Hochwimmer • Subhahrata, agreed. In surface water hydro-geochemistry exploration for porphyries I have found the same effect, anomalies in streams may be higher upstream and definitely lower downstream of ponds where surface pond water may also be low. The exception is very shallow pond waters, particularly in summer with biotic activity highest. In this scenario arsenic is absorbed to benthos and pelagic algae communities’ initially then sediment to basement, the surface waters from deeper ponds having lower arsenic content.

    The sampling process in shallow ponds takes some of that arsenic accumulation in. If you use a little ultra pure nitric acid or UV light on the sample to extricate the organic arsenic phases this result in a significant As analytical spike. It appears not only inorganic colloidal phases are involved in pond water arsenic entrapment but organics phases are most important.

    Here, shallow water bodies could be a source of concerned in stock drinking waters in some areas I have examined in Australia.

    This feature of arsenic distribution needs to be reconciled in mineral exploration programs, but also as suggested this has obvious benefits reducing arsenic toxicity downstream. The biology of the system will vary in modulation of this capacity, with seasonal variation. The outflow water quality will also depend on the expanse and depth of the water body whilst downstream of shallow ponds waters can still be arsenic polluted from organic mobility. Isolation of these environs with depth clarifies the surface outlets.


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