Performance of constructed evaporation ponds for disposal of smelter waster water: a case study at Portland Aluminum, Victoria, Australia

Salzman, S. A, Stagnitti, F., Allinson, G., Coates, M. and Hill, R. J 2001, Performance of constructed evaporation ponds for disposal of smelter waster water: a case study at Portland Aluminum, Victoria, Australia, Water research, vol. 35, no. 9, pp. 2121-2128.

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Title Performance of constructed evaporation ponds for disposal of smelter waster water: a case study at Portland Aluminum, Victoria, Australia
Author(s) Salzman, S. A
Stagnitti, F.
Allinson, G.
Coates, M.
Hill, R. J
Journal name Water research
Volume number 35
Issue number 9
Start page 2121
End page 2128
Publisher Pergamon
Place of publication Oxford
Publication date 2001-06
ISSN 0043-1354
1879-2448
Keyword(s) aluminium smelter effluent
evaporative ponds
soil chemical transport
fluoride
groundwater
Summary The construction of evaporative ponds and wetlands for the disposal of waste water high in ionic concentrations is a waste disposal strategy currently considered by many industries. However, the design, construction and management of these ponds and wetlands are not straightforward as complex chemical interactions result in both spatial and temporal changes in water quality. The effects of evaporation and drainage on the water quality in two constructed ponds, an adjacent man-made wetland and local groundwater at Portland Aluminium were investigated. The minimum volume of water entering the ponds during the study period was 0.96±0.16 ML per month. The predicted theoretical evaporative capacity of the two ponds was calculated to be 0.30±0.07 ML per month. More water enters the ponds than it is theoretically possible to evaporate under the ambient weather conditions at Portland, yet the ponds do not overflow, suggesting percolation through the pond lining. No spatial differences in solute concentrations (fluoride, sulphate, bicarbonate, carbonate, sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium ions) were found within the waters of either pond, although temporal differences were apparent. The results support the conclusion that the ponds are not impermeable, and that much of the waste water entering the ponds is being lost through seepage. The impacts on local groundwater chemistry of this seepage are addressed. Significant correlations exist between solute presence within and between the ponds, wetland and groundwater. Fluoride and sulphate concentrations were significantly higher in pond waters throughout the duration of the experiment. Pond sediments revealed a high degree of spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the concentration of all monitored ions resulting from the chemical heterogeneity of the material making up the pond linings. Adsorption isotherms for fluoride indicate that the adsorption capacity of the pond linings remains high for this ion. Implications for the management of waste water by this strategy are discussed.
Language eng
Field of Research 039901 Environmental Chemistry (incl Atmospheric Chemistry)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30001305

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Ecology and Environment
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