In the paper, a comparison of the efficiency of riverbank treatments is outlined for the Krajkowo well field, where different methods of water abstraction are used. The water is extracted from 29 vertical wells that are located at a distance of 60–80 m from the channel of the River Warta and from a horizontal well with radial drains located 5 m below the bottom of the river. The results of a two-year water-quality investigation indicate that the water quality in both types of abstraction system is influenced by the quality of river water. The water quality observed in the horizontal well is closely similar to that of the river water, with similar concentrations of sulphates, nitrates and micropollutants, but a reduction in bacteriological contamination and plankton is clearly seen. The reduction in contaminants is mainly the result of physical processes, such as mechanical entrapment of suspended material and colloids as well as bacteria and plankton. In the vertical wells, the influence of contamination from river water is also visible, but the reduction in contamination is more significant, especially in cases of bacteria, plankton, micropollutants and nitrates, and is determined by both physical and chemical processes, such as sorption, dissolution, red-ox processes and denitrification. The present research shows that river water treatment is more effective in the case of vertical wells. The most favourable distance of a well from the channel of the river, from the perspective of water quality, is 150–200 m, which corresponds to a residence time of about six months.
The concentrations of Al, As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, Fe and Mn were determined in June 2010 for 100 tap-water samples, collected directly at consumers in the older part of the city of Szczecin (Poland). Increased concentrations of metals were thus detected. This concerns mainly Fe (19% of samples showed concentrations above drinking-water quality standards) and Pb (5%). In some samples, the maximum admissible concentration levels for Mn, Cu and Ni were also exceeded. This was not the case for Al, despite the use of aluminium compounds during water treatment; the Al concentrations in treated water were, however, significantly higher than in raw water.
It was also found that (1) the corrosive properties of water (low alkalinity and increased concentration of sulphates), (2) the water-treatment processes causing a decrease of the pH and an increase of the CO2, and (3) transport of the treated water over long distances (30 km) provide favourable conditions for the leaching of metals from water-pipe networks. The type of material used in domestic plumbing and the content of Ce, Fe, Mn, Ni and Cd in the tap-water at consumers show a correlation. The high content of Pb is mainly a result of lead pipes connecting the network to the buildings