Assessment of groundwater quality and 222Rn distribution in the Xuzhou region, China

  • Jing Yang
  • Zhongbo Yu
  • Peng YiEmail author
  • Ala Aldahan


Evaluation of groundwater quality represents significant input for the development and utilization of water resources. Increasing exploitation of groundwater and man-made pollution has seriously affected the groundwater quality of the North China Plain, such as in the Xuzhou region which is the target of this investigation. The assessment of the groundwater quality and sources in the region was based on analyses of water chemistry and 222Rn activity in samples collected from wells penetrating unconfined and confined aquifers. The results indicate that most of the untreated groundwater in the region is not suitable for the long-term drinking based on permissible limits of the Chinese Environmental Agency and the World Health Organization. However, the groundwater can be used as healthy source of drinking water when they can pass the biological test and softening water treatment. Most of the groundwater is suitable for irrigation. Excessive amounts of SO42− and NO3 are attributed to mainly influence of wastewater, irrigation, and dissolution of sulfate minerals in local coal strata. The major source of the groundwater is meteoric recharge with addition from irrigation and wastewater discharges. Variability of the water quality seems to be also reflecting the type of aquifers where the highest concentration of HCO3 occurs in water of the carbonate fractured aquifer, while the highest Cl concentration in the unconfined aquifer. Source of 222Rn activity is mainly related to the rock-water interaction with possible addition from the agricultural fertilizers. Protection of groundwater is vital to maintain sustainable drinking quality through reducing infiltration of irrigation water and wastewater.


Groundwater Quality 222Rn Xuzhou China 


Funding information

This research was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFC0402710), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41323001, 51539003), National Science Funds for Creative Research Groups of China (No. 51421006), and the Special Fund of State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering (Grant No. 20145027312, 20155045612 and 20165042512). In addition, this research was funded in part by the 111 Project under Grant B08048, Ministry of Education and State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, China.

Supplementary material

10661_2018_6937_MOESM1_ESM.doc (60 kb)
Supplementary file 1 Data of some toxic metal ions and organic compounds (DOC 60 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic EngineeringHohai UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Hydrology and Water ResourcesHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Department of GeologyUnited Arab Emirates UniversityAl AinUnited Arab Emirates

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