The aim of this study was to integrate hydrogeochemistry with a multivariate statistical approach to understand the various processes that control the evolution/contamination of water resources in El Sharqia Governorate, Egypt with a particular emphasis on direct/indirect risks to human health. To achieve this, a representative collection of 21 groundwater and 35 drainage samples was taken and examined for physical, chemical, and trace element measurements. Results indicated that in shallow groundwater and drainage water samples, the relative abundance of major cations is Na+ > Mg2+ > Ca2+ > K+, and for anions is HCO3- > Cl− > SO42- (on a molar basis). Natural processes involving the dissolution/precipitation of some minerals and other processes including leaching of solid waste, overuse of agricultural fertilizers application, and high loads of discharged sewage water are responsible for the evolution of water resources in El Sharqia Governorate. Ammonia, nitrate, biological oxygen demand (BOD), phosphate, turbidity, iron, manganese, lead, and aluminum concentrations were found to be higher than the limits set by international drinking water regulations. The health risk index (HRI) values for children were found to be higher than those for adults when the water resources are used for drinking purposes which poses a risk to human health.
An integration of hydrogeochemistry with a multivariate statistical approach was applied.
Various processes that control the evolution/contamination of water resources in El Sharqia Governorate, Egypt were investigated.
A particular emphasis on direct/indirect risks to human health was given.
A risk to human health was found.
HRI values for children were higher than those for adults when used for drinking purposes.