, Volume 184, Issue 4, pp 1991-2000
Date: 17 Jun 2011

Assessment of the effects of municipal sewage, immersed idols and boating on the heavy metal and other elemental pollution of surface water of the eutrophic Hussainsagar Lake (Hyderabad, India)

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The surface water qualities of Hussainsagar, an eutrophic urban lake in the midst of twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad (India) receiving large quantities of external inputs—both untreated municipal sewage containing industrial effluents, and treated sewage, a large number of annually immersed idols of God and Goddess, and intense boating activities were assessed in relation to the concentration of elements including heavy metals of the water along the necklace road of the lake. Elemental analyses of water using ICP-MS revealed 26 elements including heavy metals—As, Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, Cu, Fe, Mn, Se, Ba, Zn, Mo, V, Co, Ag, Sr, Rb, Mg, K, Ca, Al, Si, Sb, Na, Li, and B, in the surface water of the lake. Of these, the first 15 elements were found in elevated concentrations in the water at the outfall point of the untreated municipal sewage (site 3), which was the main dominating source of contamination of the lake water while Cu and Sb were recorded in higher concentrations at the outfall of treated effluent from Sewage Treatment Plant, and three elements (Ba, Si, and B) were in higher concentration at the sites of outfall of sewage flowing from an oxygenated pond (site 4), Ca, Zn, and Sr, at the site immersed with idols (site 1), and Pb, Ag, and Al at the center of the lake (site 5) with intense boating activities. Concentrations of most of these elements exceeded the maximum permissible limits of national (Indian Council Medical Research) standards for drinking water. The concentrations of most of the elemental contaminants showed significant positive correlations between them.