Evaluation of contaminants spreading from sludge piles, applying geochemical fractionation and attenuation of concentrations model in a tropical reservoir

  • Julio Cesar WassermanEmail author
  • Aline Mansur Almeida
  • Daniel Vidal Perez
  • Maria Angélica Wasserman
  • Wilson Machado


Drinking water production may generate significant amounts of sludge, which may be contaminated with various metals. For the first time, the mobility/lability of contaminants from two water treatment sludge piles in the Juturnaíba Reservoir was evaluated by applying two geochemical approaches: sequential extractions and attenuation of concentrations model. Both procedures were applied to evaluate the mobility/lability of Al, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn on samples collected in the sludge piles and in the neighborhood of both water treatment plants. The results show that aluminum presents considerably higher concentrations in the sediments close to the sludge piles, with more labile phases; however, the attenuation of concentrations model indicates little spreading of this contaminant in the reservoir. Manganese was shown to be severely depleted in the sludge, indicating that it can be leached away, due to the reducing conditions of the pile. The other elements showed low concentrations and were shown not to affect the concentrations in the reservoir. While the geochemical fractionation indicates the possibility of dissolution to the water column, the attenuation of concentrations model gives information on the spatial dispersion of the contaminants, constituting interesting complementary approaches.


Drinking water treatment sludges Sediments Metals Attenuation of concentration model Sequential extraction Juturnaíba Reservoir Brazil 



The authors are grateful to Carlos Chagas Foundation for the Support to the Research in the State of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ) for the financial support through the program Pensa Rio (grant no. E-26/110.694/2012). JCW is also thankful to the Brazilian Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for a research grant (grant no. 306714/2013-2). AMA thanks the CAPES for the financial support (grant no. 001). These financial supports did not imply any sort of bias in the results and their interpretation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Post-Graduation Program in Geochemistry, Network of Environment and Sustainable Development, Instituto de GeociênciasFederal Fluminense UniversityNiteróiBrazil
  2. 2.Post-Graduation Program in Geochemistry, Instituto de QuímicaFederal Fluminense UniversityNiteróiBrazil
  3. 3.Embrapa SolosRio de JaneiroBrazil
  4. 4.Institute of Nuclear Engineering (IEN/CNEN)Cidade UniversitáriaRio de JaneiroBrazil

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