Analysis of groundwater pollution in the Sant’Eufemia Plain (Calabria – South Italy)




Groundwater pollution, Southern Italy, sea water intrusion, geochemical characterization, thermal water


In order to highlight possible aquifer pollution phenomena and rising of a salt wedge in the Sant’Eufemia Plain (southern Italy), forty-two samples of rivers and groundwater were analyzed. The Sant’Eufemia plain is located in the middle-western Calabria and represents one of the main agricultural and industrial area of the region. Four main geochemical types have been identified (Na-Cl, Na-HCO3, Ca-HCO3 and Ca-SO4 waters). The low salinity of Na-Cl waters allowed to exclude sea water intrusion phenomena. High concentrations of Ca and SO4 suggest mixing processes among the thermal waters (Caronte Spa), the Bagni River and the groundwater, identifying Bagni River mouth as the most vulnerable area. Furthermore, waters showed concentrations of As, F and NO3 higher than Italian law and World Health Organization threshold limits. High concentration of K and NO3 can be ascribed to anthropogenic activities. The presence of widespread anthropogenic activities make the plain an area exposed to pollution problems.




How to Cite

Vespasiano, G., Cianflone, G., Cannata, C. B., Apollaro, C., Dominici, R., & De Rosa, R. (2016). Analysis of groundwater pollution in the Sant’Eufemia Plain (Calabria – South Italy). Italian Journal of Engineering Geology and Environment, (2), 5–16.