Hydrochemical characterisation of high-fluoride groundwater and development of a conceptual groundwater flow model using a combined hydrogeological and hydrochemical approach on an active volcano: Mount meru, Northern Tanzania

George Bennett, Jill Van Reybrouck, Ceven Shemsanga, Mary Kisaka, Ines Tomašek, Karen Fontijn, Matthieu Kervyn, Kristine Walraevens

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8 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

This study characterises high-fluoride groundwater in the aquifer system on the flanks of Mount Meru, focusing on parts of the flanks that were only partially or not at all covered by previous research. Additionally, we analyse the impact of rainwater recharge on groundwater chemistry by monitoring spring discharges during water sampling. The results show that the main groundwater type in the study area is NaHCO3 alkaline groundwater (average pH = 7.8). High F values were recorded: in 175 groundwater samples, the concentrations range from 0.15 to 301 mg/L (mean: 21.89 mg/L, median: 9.67 mg/L), with 91% of the samples containing F values above the WHO health-based guideline for drinking water (1.5 mg/L), whereas 39% of the samples have Na+ concentrations above the WHO taste-based guideline of 200 mg/L. The temporal variability in F concentrations between different seasons is due to the impact of the local groundwater recharge. We recommend that a detailed ecohydrological study should be carried out for the low-fluoride springs from the high-altitude recharge areas on the eastern and northwestern flanks of Mount Meru inside Arusha National Park. These springs are extracted for drinking purposes. An ecohydrological study is required for the management of these springs and their potential enhanced exploitation to ensure the sustainability of this water extraction practice. Another strategy for obtaining safe drinking water could be to use a large-scale filtering system to remove F from the groundwater.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2159
Number of pages30
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume13
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Alkaline groundwater
  • East African Rift System
  • Groundwater quality
  • Groundwater resource management
  • High fluoride concentration
  • Mount Meru
  • Tanzania
  • Volcanic aquifer

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