Sediment pollution in an urban water supply lake in southern Brazil

  • Leonardo Capeleto de AndradeEmail author
  • Fabrício Fernandes Coelho
  • Sayed M. Hassan
  • Lawrence A. Morris
  • Flávio Anastácio de Oliveira Camargo


Urbanization and anthropogenic activities create many environmental issues in urban water supply reservoirs, especially in metropolitan regions. Thus, this study was carried out aiming to evaluate the variance in the physical-chemical characteristics of bottom sediment along the Lake Guaíba, Brazil. Lake Guaíba is a freshwater lake situated in a metropolitan region in southern Brazil, being the main water supply to the region. Surface sediment was evaluated to pH, electrical conductivity, particle-size, total organic carbon and nitrogen, metals and inorganic elements (Fe, Al, Ca, Ba, Sr, Co, Tl, Zn, Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb, Cd, and Hg), and organic compounds. The sediments in the Lake Guaíba show a wide range in the physical-chemical characteristics. Metals Zn, Cu, Cr, and Ni appear in higher concentrations near to the margin of southern Porto Alegre, where there was also more clay plus silt. Sediments of Lake Guaíba have physical-chemical variability by the settle tendency and water flow from the riverine to lacustrine areas. The sediment in Lake Guaíba had a median of: Zn, 132; Cu, 78; Cr, 42; Ni, 28; Pb, 33; Cd, 0.3; and Hg, 0.07 μg/g. Bed sediments of Lake Guaíba are polluted with Zn, Cu, Cr, and Ni, major in the east margin (near to Porto Alegre). The potential toxic metals and organic compounds found in Lake Guaíba are commonly reported in urban regions around the world. Those elements and compounds derive from many anthropic activities, as industries, sewage, and vehicles. With diffuse sources in the region, the pollution control in Lake Guaíba is very complex.


Contamination Metals Sewage Social impacts 


Funding information

This work had financial support from the Brazilian National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq), as scholarship (doctoral) for the first author; and from the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), as scholarship (PDSE) for the first author at University of Georgia (UGA).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Soil Bioremediation, Soil DepartmentUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)Porto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Geographic Information System Laboratory, Soil DepartmentUFRGSPorto AlegreBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratory for Environmental AnalysisUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  4. 4.Soil DepartmentUFRGSPorto AlegreBrazil

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