Development of local sampling and monitoring protocol for radioactive elements in fractured rock Acquifers in South Africa using a case study in Beaufort West
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The aim of this study was to test whether one could use the same methods as used for sampling heavy metals and apply them to radioactive elements. Furthermore a sampling protocol was developed, the first of its kind, for the sampling of radioactive elements in fractured rock aquifers. This was achieved by initially examining local as well as international manuals and methods. The aforementioned was done in conjunction with a literature review of the movement of radioactive elements in these fractured rock aquifers. Beaufort West was utilised as a study area and the geology, hydrogeology and topography was outlined. Background radioactivity was generally acceptable except for two samples which were anomalously high. Taking cognisance of the methods used, as well as those previously applied in the area and abroad, a sampling protocol for radioactive elements in fractured rock aquifers was developed and attached as an appendix. In conclusion it was suggested that multiple methods be tested on one well in order to check whether similar results would occur. This would thus determine the best applicable methods. Also it was proposed that a new method, called DGT sampling, be applied in order to gain a time weighted average of the heavy metals and radioactive elements in groundwater. It could also be clearly seen, by comparing historical data and the current data, that the methods used for sampling heavy metal can be applied to radioactivity.