Volume XI |

Pollution of Soils by Heavy Metals from Irrigation near Mining Region of Georgia

Abstract: The main goal of our research was to study the composition, migration and accumulation of heavy metals in irrigated soils, plants and partially natural waters in Bolnisi district, Georgia (southwards of Tbilisi capital city), and to establish the possible sources of pollution and their impact on the environmental situation of the region. The contents of toxic elements in the irrigated soils adjacent to ore mining and processing enterprise were studied. All samples from soils and water were inspected with Perkin Elmer device with the use of atomic-adsorptive method.
There were identified different concentrations of heavy metals. Our research has shown that more than half of the territory is seriously polluted by copper and zinc. Some part of the area can be considered catastrophically polluted. Due to the technological process and practices, irrigations play a major role in polluting the soil, since the area is irrigated using the water from rivers where wastewaters from the enterprise are discharged.
Our study shows that pollutant heavy metals, first of all copper, zinc and manganese have active negative effect on the properties of soil, its composition and soil-forming processes. It is especially well represented in the deterioration of hydro-physical potential of the soil. Balanced correlation among solid, liquid and gas phases is disrupted. In the highly polluted soils, cementing processes take place and sharply increase bulk density of the soil. Thus, the porosity of the soil deteriorates and water permeability is critically low.