Phytoremediation of heavy metals in a tropical impoundment of industrial region
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Aquatic pollution pose a serious challenge to the scientific community worldwide, since lakes or reservoirs find multifarious use and most often their water is used for drinking, bathing, irrigation, and aquaculture. Nine metals and several physicochemical parameters, from four sampling sites in a tropical lake receiving the discharges from a thermal power plant, a coal mine, and a chlor-alkali industry, were studied from 2004 to 2005. Pertaining to metal pollution, the site most polluted with heavy metals was Belwadah, i.e., waters and sediments had the highest concentration of all the metals examined. The reference site was characterized by the presence of low concentrations of metals in waters and sediments. Following the water quality monitoring, 2-month field phytoremediation experiments were conducted using large enclosures at the discharge point of different polluted sites of the lake. During field phytoremediation experiments using aquatic macrophytes, marked percentage reduction in metals concentrations were recorded. The percentage decrease for different metals was in the range of 25% to 67.90% at Belwadah (with Eichhornia crassipes and Lemna minor), 25% to 77.14% at Dongia nala (with E. crassipes, L. minor and Azolla pinnata), and 25% to 71.42% at Ash pond site of G.B. Pant Sagar (with L. minor and A. pinnata). Preliminary studies of polluted sites are useful for improved microcosm design and for the systematic extrapolation of information from experimental ecosystems to natural ecosystems.
KeywordsHeavy metals Water pollution Phytoremediation Eichhornia Coal mines
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