Distribution of groundwater nitrate in Dehloran, Iran: A case study using GIS

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Environmental Engineering, School of Public Health, Social Development and Health Promotion Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Science, Kermanshah Iran

2 Department of Environmental Engineering, Abadan School of Medical Sciences, Abadan, Iran

3 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

4 Environmental Health Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

5 Water Treatment Plant, Water and Wastewater Company, Ilam, Iran

6 Department of Environmental Pollution, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran


Nitrate has been the most common chemical contaminant in water resource. This ion is introduced into the water via different ways, but more items of nitrate pollution was connected with farming-based drainage and sewage effluent. In this descriptive-analytical study, groundwater nitrate and nitrite concentrations of 8 wells on Dehloran, Ilam, Iran, were analyzed in 2015 to determine the causes and zonation of pollutant. Results were compared with national standards and analyzed by SPSS and Arcview GIS 9.3 software. The highest and lowest nitrate concentration were related to Dashte Akbar No. 3 with an average of 11.1 ppm and Bareh bijeh well No. 3 with an average of 8.58 mg/l, respectively. Nitrite level of wells water was measured as zero milligrams per liter. There was no significant difference between nitrate concentrations and depth of wells because of approximately the same depth of wells. There was no significant relationship between the monthly average nitrate concentrations with each well. Likewise, no significant associations were found between the average nitrate concentrations of different wells per month. The nitrate concentration in 100% of the analyzed samples were less than 20 mg/l, thus water wells placed in slightly contaminated water. Given the great distance between residential areas with wells and the existing sewage collection network in Dehloran whereas high density agricultural activity, this amount of nitrate and nitrite was attributed to the widespread use of fertilizers. Therefore, proper management in the use of fertilizers and determining health policy regarding wells should be done. 


1. World Health Organization. Guidelines for drinking-water quality. 2nd ed. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 1996.
2. Thorburn PT, Biggs JS, Weier KL, Keating BA. Nitrate in groundwaters of intensive agricultural areas in coastal Northeastern Australia. Agr Ecosyst Environ J 2003; 94(1): 49-58.
3. Kalvif S, Khan IU, Siddiqui. Nitrate/Nitrite contamination in groundwater of karachi and its correlation with other physicochemical parameters. Sci Environ Manage 2005; 13(2): 121-5.
4. Zawaideh LL, Zhang TC. The effects of pH and addition of an organic buffer (HEPES) on nitrate transformation in Fe0-water systems. Water Sci Technol 1998; 38(7): 107-15.
5. Environmental Protection Agency. Drinking water standards and health advisory tables [Online]. [cited 2012]; Available from: URL:
6. Kapoor A, Viraraghavan T. Nitrate removal from drinking water-review. J Environ Eng 1997; 123(4): 371-80.
7. Setareh P, Rezaei M, Hassani AH, Zinatyzadeh AA. Distribution of groundwater nitrate contamination in GIS environment: A case study, Sonqor plain. J Kermanshah Univ Med Sci 2014; 18(3): 157-64. [In Persian].
8. Salvato JA. Environmental engineering and sanitation. New York, NY: Wiley; 1992.
9. Gardner KK, Vogel RM. Predicting ground water nitrate concentration from land use. Ground Water 2005; 43(3): 343-52.
10. Gheysari MM, Houdaji M, Najafi P, Abd Elahi A. Assessment of nitrate pollution of groundwater in south -east of Isfahan region. Journal of Environmental Studies 2007; 33(2): 43-50. [In Persian].
11. World Health Organization. Guidelines for drinking-water quality. Geneva, Switzerland; 1997.
12. Amarloei A, Nazeri M, Sayeh Miri K, Nourmoradi H, Khodarahmi F. Investigation on the Concentration of Nitrate and Nitrite in Ilam ground waters. J Ilam Univ Med Sci 2014; 22(4): 34-41. [In Persian].
13. Torabian A, Amin Zadeh B. Nitrate removal from drinking waterusing ion exchange and nitification method. Proceeding of the Congress of Chemical Engineering 2008 Feb 18-20; Tehran, Iran. [In Persian].
14. Badeenezhad A, Gholami M, Jonidi Jafari A, Ameri A. Factors affecting nitrate concentrations in Shiraz groundwater using geographical information system (GIS). Toloo e Behdasht 2012; 11(2): 47-56. [In Persian].
15. Clesceri LS, Eaton AD, Greenberg AE. Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association; 1998.
16. World Health Organization. Water sanitation hygiene [Online]. [cited 2016]; Available from: URL: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/en
17. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Table of regulated drinking water contaminants [Online]. [cited 2016]; Available from: URL: https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/table-regulated-drinking-water-contaminants
18. Miranzadeh MB, Mostafaii GR, Jalali A. An study to determin the nitrate of water wells and distribution network in Kashan during 2005-2004. Feyz 2006; 10(2): 39-45. [In Persian].
19. Yousefi Z, Barafrashteh Pour M, Taghavi M, MashayekhSalehi A, Sedaghat F. Survey on Temporal and spatial variation of nitrate and nitrite in drinking water of Gachsaran by using Geographic Information System (GIS). J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci 2013; 22(2): 158-62. [In Persian].
20. Mozafarizadeh J, Sajadi Z. Survey of groundwater chemical pollution in the Borazjan plain. Iran South Med J 2014; 17(5): 927-37. [In Persian].
21. Lee SM, Min KD, Woo NC, Ahn CH. Statistical models for the assessment of nitrate contamination in urban groundwater using GIS. Env Geol 2003; 44(2): 210-21.
22. Nassery HR, Nadafian H. Transport modeling of ground water nitrate contaminant in Hamadan drinking water wells area. Iranian Journal of Geology 2008; 2(6): 87-98. [In Persian].
23. Obeidat MM, Ahmad FY, Hamouri NA, Massadeh AN, Athamneh F. Assessment of nitrate contamination of karst springs, Bani Kanana, northern Jordan. Rev Mex Cienc Geol 2008; 25(3): 426-37.