Original scientific paper

Comprehensive analysis of nitrates, sulphates and agrochemicals in leachates from an intensive agriculture area - A case study in Croatia

2022, 23 (1)   p. 138-153

Iva Hrelja, Draženka Stipaničev, Siniša Repec, Aleksandra Perčin, Milan Mesić, Ivana Šestak, Željka Zgorelec


To better understand the impact of conventional agricultural practices on soil and water resources, two main objectives were established in this study: to measure nitrate (NO3-) and sulphate (SO42-) concentrations in lysimeters and drainpipes leachates in response to different nitrogen fertilization levels and soil amendments and to identify organic contaminants that could have originated from the long-term use of agrochemicals in historically intensive agricultural area in Croatia. During the two-year study period leachate samples were collected from lysimeters and drainpipes. Research results indicate NO3- content in both lysimeters and drainpipes increased with rising doses of N fertilizer. The highest concentration of SO42- was recorded in the treatment with added phosphogypsum, while in all other treatments the concentrations were low. Over 40% of the 287 target substances were detected at least once during the two-year study period but only two substances (IPC/propham and carbosulfan) were found to have concentrations above 0.5 μg/L. Additionally, three priority substances were continuously present in the leachate samples: atrazine, simazine and isoproturon.


UHPLC-Q-TOF-MS, ion chromatography, water contamination, groundwater, phosphogypsum

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