Characterization, classification, and determination of drinkability of some algerian thermal waters

Fouad Bahri, Hakim Saibi, Mohammed El Hocine Cherchali

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17 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the physicochemical parameters(Conductivity, pH, Cl,HCO3 ,PO4 3−,SO4 2−,NO3 ,NO2 ,F,TH,Ca2+,K+,Mg2+,Na+, and DS) were determined for 41 samples collected from fourteen places in Algeria. The temperature of the thermal water samples at collection sites varied from 26°C to 86°C. pH values varied from 6.5 to 8.5 (i.e., from slightly acidic to moderately alkaline); 90.24% of the samples exhibited relatively high salinity (DS=550–5,500 mg L−1). Total hardness measurements indicated these waters to be moderately hard. Forty-six percent of the samples are Na–Cl in character. The ratios Na+/Ca2+,Na+/Mg2+, and (Na+ +K+)/(Ca2+ +Mg2+)were high in 90.24% of the samples. This indicates the ion exchange process is important, which indicates that most of the Algerian thermal waters had developed over a long period at a depth sufficient to react with the rock. Statistical analyses of the physicochemical data gave positive correlation values, thereby enabling good interpretation of the results and revealing the composition of ions present in the thermal waters, as well as some information about their origin. The therapeutic properties associated with thermal waters encourage people at spas to drink the water they bathe in. Therefore, we examined the drinkability of these thermal waters. World Health Organization (WHO 1993) standards were used to evaluate the thermal water quality for drinking. With respect to hardness, the samples were classified as moderately hard (58.54% of the samples), very hard (36.58% of the samples), and soft (4.88% of the samples). The drinkability study shows that only 16 samples of the investigated waters were drinkable and thus could be consumed without special precaution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-219
Number of pages13
JournalArabian Journal of Geosciences
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Algeria
  • Classification
  • Drinkability
  • Hydrogeochemistry
  • Thermal water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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