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Abstract

The work is an attempt to assess piped water quality in four counties located in east central Poland. Piped water was analysed for three successive years in each county. Water samples were tested for the following physical and chemical parameters: turbidity, colour, conductivity, taste, odour, pH, nitrates (III), nitrates (V), iron and manganese. They were compared with the current standard values. Preliminary data analysis included an analysis of maximum and minimum values of physical and chemical parameters, and it revealed that turbidity, colour, iron and manganese contents exceeded the permissible standards in all the counties. Percentages of parameters exceedances and mean values of the exceedances were used to rank the counties in terms of water quality. The ranking was obtained by means of multidimensional comparative analysis. It was demonstrated that best quality water was supplied by Węgrów County water supply system which was followed by Mińsk Mazowiecki County. The third rank was assigned to Łosice County and the poorest quality water was found to be supplied by Siedlce County water supply system.
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Abstract

To investigate and assess the effects of land use and its changes on concentrations of heavy metals (Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu, Mn, Ni, Fe) in the tributary of drinking water reservoir catchment, soils of different land use types (forest, arable land, meadows and pastures, residential areas), suspended sediment and bottom sediment were collected. Heavy metals were analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS). The metal distribution pattern was observed, where Zn and Cd could be considered as main metal contaminants. The variation in the concentration level of Zn and Cd in studied soils showed the impact of pollution from anthropogenic activities. Also some seasonal variations were visible among the suspended sediment and bottom sediment samples which could be associated with land agricultural practices or meteorological conditions. The sediment fingerprints approach used for determining sources of the suspension in the catchment showed (Kruskal-Wallis H test, p<0.05), that only Mn and Ni were not able to be distinguished among the potential sediment sources. A multiple linear regression model described the relationship between suspended sediment and 4 types of soil samples. The results related suspended composition mostly to the samples from the residential land use. Considering the contemporary trend of observed changes in land use resulting in conversion of agricultural areas into residential and service structures these changes can be essential for the contamination of aquatic environment. This situation is a warning sign due to the rapid industrialization, urbanization and intensive agriculture in this region what can significantly affect the drinking water quality.
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