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Journal article Open Access

The Air, Water, and Soil Quality in the Surrounding of Zaatari Refugee Camp

Mohammad Alshirah; Mohammad Aljaradin; Anwar Jiries; Amjad Shatnawi

This study was conducted to assess the water, air, and soil quality in the surrounding of the Zaatari refugee camp.  Analysis of physical and chemical parameters of the surface runoff water, groundwater, wastewater, soil, and air quality were conducted.  The electrical conductivity, pH, Ca2+, Mg2+, HCO3-, K+, Na+, Cl-, NO3-, SO42-, and trace of the heavy metals include Zn, Mn, Cd, Cr, Cu and Pb were analyzed.  The sodium adsorption ratio and water salinity were used to assess the feasibility of wastewater effluent for irrigation. The dust settlement system was used to track the air quality within the Zaatari camp for ten months. To better recognize and identify the possible source of pollution, the camp area was divided into three areas (A, B, and C). Location was chosen to represent the major activities and population density inside the camp. The result showed the water quality parameters for the groundwater from the three wells inside the camp were found to be within Jordanian drinking water standards' acceptable limits. The soil profile showed high levels of heavy metals, the upper soil had a much higher concentration than the lower soil, suggesting that heavy metals are accumulated on the top of the soil as a result of camp activities, as well as low mobility of these metals in a slightly alkaline soil climate. The results also showed that there was no significant heavy metal contamination in the sewage system. The inlet of the WWTP, on the other hand, had a higher concentration of heavy metals than the other sites, which can be due to wastewater deposition from the three sites examined. There was also no major pollution in the air quality within the camp, indicating that there is no source of heavy metal contamination in the area. Based on sodium adsorption ratio and water salinity analysis, the feasibility of wastewater treatment plant effluent for irrigation purposes indicates that wastewater is unsuitable for sensitive plants but acceptable for certain salt-tolerant plants under certain conditions.

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