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Environmental Engineering Research 2008;13(1): 33-40. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2008.13.1.033
Contamination of Stream and Reservoir Waters with Arsenic from Abandoned Gold Mine
Jin-Yong Lee1, Hee Joung Kim2, and Jai E Yang3
1Department of Geology, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701, Korea
2Institute of Environmental Research, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701, Korea
3Department of Biological Environment, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701, Korea
Corresponding Author: Jin-Yong Lee ,Tel: +82-33-250-8551, Fax: +82-33-242-8550, Email: hydrolee@kangwon.ac.kr
Received: December 18, 2007;  Accepted: January 17, 2008.
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ABSTRACT
Levels of arsenic in stream and reservoir waters affected by an abandoned gold mine were examined. The abandoned mine has been left without proper civil and remedial works preventing potential environmental hazards. Field and laboratory chemical analyses revealed that the stream waters downgradient from the mine area were severely contaminated with arsenic and furthermore the reservoir water, 2-3 km away from the mine, also contained substantial levels of As, far exceeding the Korean stream water standard. Relatively higher pH values (6.5-9.4) enhanced mobility of As and mainly sustained substantial As concentration in waters. Chemistries of the stream water, groundwater and reservoir water were dominated by two main factors including effects of mine effluent and anthropogenic agricultural activities. Considering that there has been a substantial As input to the reservoir and the reservoir water has been used for agricultural and domestic uses, immediate remedial works are essentially required.
Keywords: Abandoned mine | Mine tailings | Heavy metals | Arsenic | Stream water | Reservoir
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