Current issue: 54(3)
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of leaching of heavy metals (Cr, As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, Co, Mo) and earth-alkaline metal, barium (Ba), on the percolation and ditch water quality from the forest roads that contained ash in the road structures. Water quality was studied in the immediate vicinity below the ash layers as well as deeper in the road structure. Water quality was also determined in the drainage water in ditches that crossed the forest roads. A mixture of wood and peat based fly ash was used in the road structures. The treatments were: 1) no ash, 2) a 15 cm layer of ash/gravel mixture, 3) a 20 cm layer of ash/gravel mixture, 4) a 25 cm layer of ash, and 5) a 50 cm layer of ash. Large variation in the concentrations of Cr, As, Cu, Ni, Pb, Mo and Ba in the percolation water, even within the same treatment, caused difficulties to generalize the results. The concentrations of Cr, As, Ni, Pb, Mo and Ba in water samples were high in some treatment plot lysimeters containing ash compared to the control (no ash). On the other hand, many lysimeters had low and similar concentrations in water samples in the treatment plots containing ash compared to concentrations in the control plots. The ash in the roads did not affect the concentrations in the ditches. The leaching is uneven and seems to take place only from some parts of the ash layer. Risk for leaching is minimal if such parts are not widely spread.