Corresponding Author

Hegazy, Doaa

Document Type

Original Article

Subject Areas

Earth science


Groundwater quality; Human Impacts; Remote Sensing; Coliform group; East Nile Delta; Egypt


East of Nile Delta is an important region for agriculture in Egypt, where some problems appeared because of increasing population, decreasing Nile water, excessive pumping of groundwater and irrigation with drainage water. The groundwater quality and quantity in the eastern Nile Delta are highly affected by urbanization, industrial and agricultural activities. In the present study, sixteen groundwater samples were collected from the Quaternary Nile aquifer and the surrounding irrigation canals and drains were sampled too. Also, satellite images (Landsat 8, GeoEye and SRTM) were used to create a landuse map 2018 and to assess the expansion of urban and industrial settlements on the cultivated lands in the eastern Nile Delta. The landuse map shows random increase of industrial settlements along irrigation canals. The groundwater samples are analyzed for major ions, nitrates, and trace elements, in addition to detection of Coliform group. Results of chemical analyses show three hydrochemical facies of groundwater including, namely Na–Cl, Mg (HCO3)2 and a mixed type. The analyzed hydrochemical parameters indicate wide ranges of TDS (320 -1860 mg/l), Na+ (42.7–797 mg/l), NO3− (4 –163 mg/l), Mg2+ (11.5 -122 mg/l) and Cl− (38.3 – 686 mg/l) suggesting complex hydrochemical processes and recharge from multiple sources. TDS, Pb, Fe, Zn, Cl, Mg, and Na exceed the limit of the World Health Organizations standards for drinking water quality in the northeastern part of the study area. Spatial analysis of the landuse map shows that high concentrations of Pb, Zn and Fe2+ are most likely related to contamination from industrial sewage. High nitrate concentrations beyond the permissible limit (50 mg/l) were reported near the drains and associated with high concentrations of the total Coliform count various from 2 to 43 CFU/100 ml indicating a potential mixing between the domestic sewage and returned irrigation water to the groundwater system.

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