Tests reveal heavy metal content in Ünye tap water
Tests conducted on tap water in the Erenyurt neighborhood of the Ünye district of the Black Sea province of Ordu have revealed that the water used by locals may contain a number of heavy metal elements such as aluminum, lead and iron, daily Birgün reported on May 13.
People in the area believe the contamination could be related to nearby gold mining activities, with locals pointing to mining operations that use open cyanide pools just four kilometers away from the village.
The Public Health Agency of Turkey, operating under the Health Ministry, conducted tests on samples collected in late March from the Çorak Water Reservoir, which showed that the water may pose serious health risks.
The tests showed that the water contained aluminum, lead and iron, concluding that the water is not suitable for use.
“Analysis of the sample showed that the water did not meet the standards set by directives on water use by humans,” the report stated.
Ramis Uçar, a local resident, told Birgün that they learned about the dangers posed “by chance.”
“A health team arrived when we were sitting at the coffee shop. They told us: ‘Don’t drink this water. We have analyzed it. It is dangerous.’ They also told us the aluminum content in the water is 18 times higher than the normal level. But we are still using the water,” Uçar said.
He added that the authorities have not made any statements about the local water.
“Two other neighborhoods are also using the same water coming from Çorak,” Uçar said.
Fellow resident Cevat Atar said mining operations in an area just 4 kilometers away may be the cause of the contamination, adding that cyanide is used to search for gold at the mine.
Atar also referred to a similar incident in the town of Bergama in the Aegean province of İzmir.
“In Bergama a report revealed that waters within 20 kilometers of the gold mine were unusable. Here the gold mine is just 4 kilometers away from us,” he said.