Characteristics of Natural Arsenic Contamination in Groundwater and Its Occurrences

자연적 지하수 비소오염의 국내외 산출특성

  • Ahn Joo Sung (Groundwater and Geothermal Resources Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources) ;
  • Ko Kyung-Seok (Geological and Environmental Hazards Division, Korea Institue of Geoscience and Mineral Resources) ;
  • Lee Jin-Soo (Geological and Environmental Hazards Division, Korea Institue of Geoscience and Mineral Resources) ;
  • Kim Ju-Yong (Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Engineering)
  • 안주성 (한국지질자원연구원 지하수지열연구부) ;
  • 고경석 (한국지질자원연구원 지질환경재해연구부) ;
  • 이진수 (한국지질자원연구원 지질환경재해연구부) ;
  • 김주용 (광주과학기술원 환경공학과)
  • Published : 2005.12.01

Abstract

General characteristics of groundwater contamination by As were reviewed with several recent researches, and its occurrence in groundwater of Korea was investigated based on a ffw previous studies and a groundwater quality survey in Nonsan and Geumsan areas. In Bangladesh, which has been known as the most serious arsenic calamity country, about $28\%$ of the shallow groundwaters exceeded the Bangladesh drinking water standard, $50{\mu}g/L$, and it was estimated that about 28 million people were exposed to concentrations greater than the standard. Groundwater was characterized by circum-neutral pH with a moderate to strong reducing conditions. Low concentrations of $SO_4^{2-}$ and $NO_3^-$, and high contents of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and $NH_4^+$ were typical chemical characteristics. Total As concentrations were enriched in the Holocene alluvial aquifers with a dominance of As(III) species. It was generally agreed that reductive dissolution of Fe oxyhydroxides was the main mechanism for the release of As into groundwater coupling with the presence of organic matters and microbial activities as principal factors. A new model has also been suggested to explain how arsenic can naturally contaminate groundwaters far from the ultimate source with transport of As by active tectonic uplift and glaciatiion during Pleistocene, chemical weathering and deposition, and microbial reaction processes. In Korea, it has not been reported to be so serious As contamination, and from the national groundwater quality monitoring survey, only about $1\%$ of grounwaters have concentrations higher than $10{\mu}g/:L.$ However, it was revealed that $19.3\%$ of mineral waters, and $7\%$ of tube-well waters from Nonsan and Geumsan areas contained As concentrations above $10{\mu}g/:L.$. Also, percentages exceeding this value during detailed groundwater quality surveys were $36\%\;and\;22\%$ from Jeonnam and Ulsan areas, respectively, indicating As enrichment possibly by geological factors and local mineralization. Further systematic researches need to proceed in areas potential to As contamination such as mineralized, metasedimentary rock-based, alluvial, and acid sulfate soil areas. Prior to that, it is required to understand various geochemical and microbial processes, and groundwater flow characteristics affecting the behavior of As.

이 논문에서는 지하수 비소오염의 일반적 지구화학적 특성을 이해하고 기존 연구사례와 논산/금산지역의 지하수 관정 수질분석 자료 등을 바탕으로 국내 지하수의 비소 산출양상을 평가하고자 한다. 가장 심각한 비소오염이 발생한 방글라데시에서는 약 $28\%$의 관정에서 $50{\mu}g/L$ 이상의 비소함량이 확인되며 2천8백만의 인구가 이에 노출된 것으로 추정한다. 주요한 오염지하수의 특성으로 중성 pH와 중간 또는 강한 환원환경, 낮은 $SO_4^{2-}$, 및$\;NO_3^-$함량, 높은 용존 유기탄소, $NH_4^+$ 함량 등을 들 수 있으며 비소는 주로 3가 형태로 존재하고 홀로세 천부 대수층에서 함량이 높게 나타난다. 일반적으로 대수층내 철수산화물의 환원성 용해 현상으로 비소가 유출되는 것으로 받아들여지며 유기물질의 존재, 미생물의 활동 등이 주요한 요소로 평가된다. 플라이스토세 빙하활동에 의해 원거리 비소기원물질의 풍화 및 이동, 화학적 집적, 미생물 활동 등의 요인으로 광역적인 세계 주요 오염발생지역의 특성을 해석하기도 한다. 국내에서는 심각한 비소오염 발생사례는 보고되지 않고 있으며 지하수 수질측정망 운영결과 $10{\mu}sg/L$ 이상의 비소함량은 전체 $1\%$ 내외에서 나타나지만, 먹는샘물 수질평가에서 이를 초과하는 업체수가 $19.3\%$에 달하고 논산 및 금산 지역의 간이급수용 관정 수질조사에서 약 $7\%$가 초과하는 결과를 보였다. 전남 일부와 울산 지역의 지하수 수질조사 결과에서도 $10{\mu}g/:L.$ 이상의 함량이 각각 $36\%,\;22\%$에 달하여 변성퇴적암 등의 지질영향과 광화작용에 따른 비소오염이 발생할 수 있음을 보여준다. 향후 국내 지하수 비소오염 평가연구를 위하여 비소거동에 영향을 주는 다양한 지구화학적 및 미생물학적 반응과 지하수 유동특성에 대한 이해가 선행되어야 하며 광화대 지역, 옥천대 변성퇴적암 지역, 부산 경남 일대의 미고결 퇴적층 및 산성황산염 토양 분포지역 등에 대한 보다 체계적인 조사와 연구가 요구된다.

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