Removing contaminants from groundwater polluted by the Trzebionka Mine settling pond located in Upper Silesia (Poland)
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Politechnika Śląska
Tomasz Suponik   

Politechnika Śląska, Wydział Górnictwa i Geologii, Akademicka 2, 44-100 Gliwice
Publication date: 2012-01-01
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2012;48(1):169–180
The Trzebionka Mine settling pond is located in south Poland and has a significant impact on quality of surrounding soil and groundwater. This is mainly due to toxic elements present in wastes disposed in the pond. The wastes are mainly flotation tailings after processing of zinc and lead ores. In the paper, chemical composition of the wastes is presented. Problems with surface water contamination by the Trzebionka Mine settling pond are also presented in the article. It was shown that most problems result from contaminants flowing down in the unsaturated zone, reaching ground waters and then flowing horizontally leading to pollution of the surface water. As a result, the canal surrounding the post-flotation pond as well as Luszowka and Wodna streams and finally the Chechlo river are contaminated. In order to protect these waters a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) technology is proposed to be used in the vicinity of the considered dumping site. The PRB technology is a technique of groundwater remediation in which the contaminants are removed from an aquifer by flowing through a PRB filled with a special material called reactive material. The processes which can be used to treat groundwater contaminated by the Trzebionka Mine settling pond are redox reactions, adsorption and biochemical reactions. At the end of the article a proper selection of reactive materials, and thus treating processes, for efficient PRB application in the considered dumping site area is suggested.