Within the framework of “Keep Georgia Tidy” Project, which is financed by the Government of Sweden, Georgian Society of Nature Explorers “Orchis” team carried out a field visit in November 2019 in Kakheti Region, where some dumpsites were selected (in Akhalsopeli – Kvareli Municipality, Kvemo Alvani – Akhmeta Municipality, Telavi City, Patardzeuli – Sagarejo Municipality, Sighnaghi, Gurjaani and Dedoplistskaro) to sample soil from adjacent areas and define the content of some heavy metals (Pb, Cu, Zn, Cd, Hg) to assess their pollution level.
The findings of Kakheti Region demonstrated that the concentration of zinc and lead in the soil samples taken nearby dumpsites exceeded maximum permissible (MPC) and tentative permissible concentrations (TPC), specifically the content of lead exceeded MPC (32 mg/kg) in 5 cases out of 7. In particular, it comprised 35.83 mg/kg in Akhalsopeli, 34.32mg/kg in Telavi, 37.51mg/kg in Patardzeuli, 43.09mg/kg in Gurjaani, and 33.57mg/kg in Dedoplistskaro. In case of the dumpsite identified in Gurjaani, besides to elevated content of lead, the concentration of zinc exceeded TPC (220 mg/kg) and totalled 33 mg/kg.
The soil samples taken at the dumpsites in Kvemo Alvani (Akhmeta Municipality) and Sighnaghi City did not contain the studied elements in concentrations exceeding their permissible limits. It should be mentioned that cadmium and mercury were not detected in any of the tested samples.
Treatment of some dumpsite areas with Georgian zeolite to improve soil quality (Kakheti Region).
In August 2020, an expedition to Kakheti Region was organized by GSNE “Orchis” team, where analytical soil samples were taken from dumpsites in Telavi, Gurjaani and Sagarejo. The sampling was preceded by their cleaning up and treating with Georgian sorbent.
It should be noted that the concentrations of lead and zinc (in the first round of the analysis) exceeded their maximum and tentative permissible concentrations (MPC, TPC): their values ranged between 1.45-2.8 MPC and 1.5-2.7 TPC respective in the analytical samples taken from Gurjaani and Sagarejo, while none of the metals was found at elevated concentrations in the samples from Telavi dumpsite. It should be also highlighted that for all analytical samples the concentration of cadmium was below the permissible limit, and the concentration of mercury was below detection limit in all samples.
The second round analysis was carried out in November 2020, when soil was re-sampled from the dumpsites after 3 months since the sorbent was applied. The results of the comparative analysis showed that the content of pollutants in the soil changed only for Sagarejo dumpsite, for example the concentration of copper decreased by 29%.
As the analytical samples taken from Gurjaani and Telavi dumpsites demonstrated, this time the sorbent we applied did not have any effect on soil content, i.e. none of the tested compounds changed towards decrease.