Evaluation of the groundwater quality in a sector of Los Pantanos de Villa Special Regulatory Zone

Keywords: water quality, groundwater, coastal wetland, Ramsar site

Abstract

Los Pantanos de Villa is a Protected Natural Area (ANP), a Ramsar site, and the only designated Wildlife Refuge in Lima. Urban growth, industrialization and low environmental awareness on the part of local inhabitants pose threats to the Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge ecosystem. Located close to Pantanos de Villa is the Villa Baja human settlement, which does not have drinking water and sewage services, and therefore uses silos, as well as discharging its sewage (black and gray waters) into unlined canals. In order to evaluate the influence of anthropogenic activities on the quality of the groundwater in Pantanos de Villa, surveys of the local population were conducted and water samples were taken. For the taking of samples, the methodology contained in the US Geological Survey’s National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data (NFM) was followed. The results obtained were compared with environmental quality standards (ECA), and a significant difference was observed between the samples collected outside and within the Protected Natural Area. The samples collected outside the ANP showed that certain parameters do not meet the aforementioned standards (nitrates, fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli), thereby constituting a risk to human and animal health. However, at the same time, the lower levels for certain parameters within the ANP demonstrate the regulatory and phytoremediation functions of the wetland.

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Published
2022-09-14
Section
Original article