Water samples collected from publicdrinking water supplies in Sicily were analysedfor electric conductivity and for their chloride,sulphate and nitrate contents. The samples werecollected as uniformly as possible from throughout the Sicilian territory, with an average sampling density of about one sample for every 7,600inhabitants. Chloride contents that ranged from5.53 to 1,302 mg/l were correlated strongly withelectric conductivity, a parameter used as a proxyfor water salinity. The highest values are attributable to seawater contamination along the coastsof the island. High chloride and sulphate valuesattributable to evaporitic rock dissolution werefound in the central part of Sicily. The nitrateconcentrations ranged from 0.05 to 296 mg/l, with31 samples (4.7% of the total) exceeding themaximum admissible concentration of 50 mg/l.Anomalous samples always came from areas ofintensive agricultural usage, indicating a clear anthropogenic origin. The same parameters werealso measured in bottled water sold in Sicily, andthey all were within the ranges for public drinkingwater supplies. The calculated mean nitrate intakefrom consuming public water supplies (16.1 mg/l)did not differ significantly from that of bottledwater (15.2 mg/l). Although the quality of publicwater supplies needs to be improved by eliminating those that do not comply with the currentdrinking water limits, at present it does not justifythe high consumption of bottled water (at least fornitrate contents).
|Numero di pagine||11|
|Rivista||Environmental Monitoring and Assessment|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2012|
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