Groundwater vulnerability assessment in the vicinity of Ramtha wastewater treatment plant, North Jordan

The main aim of this study was to evaluate the vulnerability of groundwater to contamination in the vicinity of Ramtha wastewater treatment plant using a modified DRASTIC method in a GIS environment. A groundwater pollution potential map was prepared using modified DRASTIC method by adding lineaments and land use/land cover parameters. The values of the modified DRASTIC index were classified into three categories: low, moderate and high. About 36.5 % of the study area is occupied by the high vulnerability class, 56.5 % is occupied by the moderate vulnerability class and 9 % is occupied by the low vulnerability class. Chemical analysis of the water samples collected from wells distributed in the study area and tapping Umm Rijam aquifer indicated that the nitrate concentration ranges from 20 to 193 mg/L with an average 65.5 mg/L. Nitrate exceeded the permissible limits of WHO and Jordanian standards in 69 and 54 % of the NO3 − samples, respectively. The modified DRASTIC model was validated using nitrate concentration. Results showed a good match between nitrate concentrations level and the groundwater vulnerability classes.

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