Contamination of groundwater by arsenic and other constituents in an industrial complex

Jin Yong Lee, Sang Ho Moon, Seong Taek Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the natural and anthropogenic pollution of groundwater at a national groundwater monitoring station (NGMS) in a dyeing industry complex, Korea. The arsenic contamination of a shallow well at the NGMS was noticed, starting from 22 months after the well installation. Possibilities of several mechanisms for As pollution of the groundwater were examined. The arsenical pyrite oxidation as a source mechanism in the shallow aquifer may be disregarded because of deficiency of pyrite in the shallow sediments, concomitant with depleted dissolved oxygen and very low levels of redox potentials of the As-polluted groundwater. The effect of wastewater from the general industrial area through a covered sewer stream was also considered as a possible source. Even though occurrence patterns of phenol and volatile organic hydrocarbons were very similar to those of the polluted shallow groundwater, As was not detected in the wastewater. One of the most plausible sources of the arsenic pollution was believed to be the reductive dissolution of Fe hydroxide. The As-polluted shallow groundwater had also very high levels of pH, HCO3, COD and very low levels of DO and NO3, which support the possibility of As pollution by the reductive dissolution. Consequently, the shallow groundwater in and around the NGMS has been polluted with various contaminants including As, phenol, chlorinated solvents, and petroleum hydrocarbons through multiple sources of contamination, such as natural reductive dissolution, dyeing wastewater, industrial wastewater, and municipal sewage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-79
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar


  • Arsenic
  • Dyeing industry complex
  • Groundwater contamination
  • National groundwater monitoring station
  • Republic of Korea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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