Hydro-chemical and microbiological characterization of Lower Cretaceous waters in a semi-arid zone Beni-Ounif syncline, South-West of Algeria

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Abstract

The article analyses the water quality of the Lower Cretaceous aquifer in the Beni-Ounif syncline. To this end, 42 samples were taken for physico-chemical analysis and 28 for microbiological analysis in March, May and October 2017 from 14 sampling points. The results of physico-chemical analysis were processed by multi-variety statistical analysis methods: principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) coupled to hydro chemical methods: Piper diagram.

The PCA allowed us to explore the connections between physico-chemical parameters and similarities between samples and to identify the most appropriate physico-chemical elements to describe water quality.

The HCA allowed us to classify the sampling points according to the similarity between them and thus reduce them for the next follow-up analysis.

Waters of the syncline are characterized by medium to low mineralization (320 < EC < 7600 μS∙cm–1 and 200 < RS < 4020 mg∙dm−3) and hardness of between 22 and 123°f. Only 19% of the samples show NO3 concentrations exceeding the Algerian standards.

Microbiologically, the study reports the presence of bacteria: coliforms (<8 CFU∙0.1 dm−3), Streptococcus D (<1100 CFUꞏ0.1 dm–3), Clostridium sulphito-reducer of vegetative form (<90 CFUꞏ0.02 dm–3) and sporulate (<4 CFUꞏ0.02 dm–3), total aerobic mesophilic flora at 22°C (<462 CFUꞏ0.001 dm–3) and at 37°C (<403 CFUꞏ0.001 dm–3). It must be noted that no presence of thermo-tolerant coliforms is observed.

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Journal of Water and Land Development

The Journal of Polish Academy of Sciences Committee on Agronomic Sciences, Section of Land Reclamation and Environmental Engineering in Agriculture and Institute of Technology and Life Sciences in Falenty

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CiteScore 2018: 1.55

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