Jordan Journal of Civil Engineering

Role of Gypsum Wastes in Polluting Groundwater and Enhancing Eutrophication in Coasts of Aqaba


Mohammad Al-Farajat;


This study deals with industrial pollution resulting from residual solid wastes that lead to eutrophication processes in coastal systems in hydro-geological and geochemical contexts. Fertilizers Factory in Aqaba Governorate in Jordan was established in 1982. The factory has been disposing solid industrial wastes of gypsum in an area lying at a distance of some hundred meters to the east of the factory since its establishment. Twenty five million tons of wastes have been accumulated since that time and form presently hills of gypsum. About 10 % by volume of the produced waste consists of water which was found to be rich in phosphate and nitrates. This water partly percolates into the permeable aquifer composed of alluviums causing pollution, and is discharged into the marine environment as submarine groundwater discharge. The study investigated the nature and geology of the hills of gypsum, mineralogy and geochemistry of gypsum, chemistry of impacted soils water, groundwater and seawater. Knowing that the gypsum hills are located some hundred meters from the coast of the Gulf and that about 2 million cubic metres of water are still entrapped inside them, with the presence of sun rays all around the year in this arid region, submarine groundwater discharge enriched with phosphate and nitrate allowed algae growth and consequently the appearance of the primary features of eutrophication in the coasts.


Fertilizers’ manufacturing, Industrial pollution, Arid regions, Coastal aquifers, Submarine groundwater discharge, Eutrophication.