Quality assessment indicators of surface waters and soils in the vicinity of the former sulfur mine in the Călimani Mountains
Abstract: A native sulfur mineralization was quarried out intensively for a period of almost 30 years in Călimani Mountains, the Eastern Carpathians. The waste resulted from this exploitation activity was stored in four waste dumps, while the residues resulted from the processing were disposed in a settlement pond. Although mining operations closed in 1997, the remains of the former sulfur mining are listed among the major pollutants in Romania.
The present paper intends to present a preliminary analysis and the current state of the impact of pollution of the former mining exploitation on different environmental factors, by assessing some quality indicators of surface waters and soils. Water and soil samples from different areas situated in the proximity of the former mine were collected and analyzed, performing pH, conductometric, turbidity, chemical and microbiological determinations.
The results of this study demonstrate that the pollutant potential of the former sulfur mining from the Călimani Mountains is still very high, a fact proved by the acidic pH of the surface waters and soil, high turbidity and conductivity of the water respectively by the high number of impurities detectable through a simple preliminary chemical analysis.