Improper disposal of wastewater is an important source of groundwater contamination, as it poses serious threats to the environment and human health. In this case study, 18 groundwater and 3 sewage effluent samples were collected from the area adjacent to a wastewater treatment plant in Sohag, Egypt. These samples were subjected to detailed chemical and bacteriological analyses to quantify the potential impact of sewage effluent on the groundwater quality using geochemical indicators. The groundwater aquifer in the study area is represented by the highly permeable Qena Sands that are composed of sands and gravels. The bacteriological analyses indicated the presence of fecal coliform in groundwater at wells nearby the wastewater ponds and farm lands. NH4 concentration of the contaminated groundwater samples ranged from 0.36 to 5.70 mg/L (78% of the samples > 1.20 mg/L) and the NH4 in the non‐impacted samples ranged from 0.40 to 2.23 mg/L (22% > 1.20 mg/L). Variations in NH4 concentrations are due to the transformation processes occurring in the aquifer. The groundwater samples were categorized based on the Na/K ratio into two classes. The first class shows the Na/K ratios vary from 2.52 to 12.19 for sewage effluent and contaminated samples, while in the second class they range from 12.85 to 31.60 for non‐impacted samples. As a result, the Na/K ratio in combination with other chemical and microbiological indicators is a useful screening tool for assessing possible sewage influence on shallow groundwater from shallow wells.