Ivana Matijašević, Sanja Bijelović, Stanka Bobić, Emil Živadinović, Maja Lazović

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Safe drinking water is one of the basic conditions for life on our planet, necessary for all vital processes in the biosphere. Pollution of water sources, largely from wide-scale agricultural fertilizer use, has resulted in nitrate and nitrite contamination of drinking water. Aim: To determine the concentrations of ammonium, nitrate, and nitrite in drinking water as potential hazards in the settlements of the South Bačka administrative district of Autonomous Province of Vojvodina (northern part of Serbia). A cross-sectional study was conducted during 2019. We analysed 8434 drinking water samples (7319 purified chlorinated, 386 untreated but chlorinated, and 729 untreated). For assessing the concentration of ammonium, nitrate, and nitrite in drinking water, samples were analyzed by a certified laboratory at the Institute of Public Health of Vojvodina using spectrophotometric method. After analyzing samples of purified chlorinated, untreated chlorinated, and untreated water, the exceedance of the prescribed values of ammonium were found in 0.45%, 64.77% and 68.45%, and for nitrites in 0.04%, 5.96% and 0.82% of the samples, respectively. The concentration of nitrate in drinking water concerning the degree of water purification (purified chlorinated and untreated water) exceeded the prescribed value in 0.01% and 5% of the samples, respectively. Determined exceedances of the prescribed limit values for nitrite concentrations recorded in purified chlorinated, untreated chlorinated, and untreated drinking water as well as for nitrate mainly in untreated drinking water, could be considered as potential hazards for human health, especially for the sensitive population group.


drinking water, ammonium, nitrates, nitrites

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