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Water Quality and Trace Metal Distribution in a Pristine Lake in the Lake Basin in Kenya

Abstract

Water and surface sediment samples taken from various locations within Lake Kanyaboli in the Lake Victoria basin were analysed to determine the concentration and distribution of heavy metals. There were wide ranges in concentrations of the metals among the sampling points analysed. Sediment concentrations (μg/g dry weight) ranged from n.d.–2.54 (Ag), 0.25–1.08 (Cd), 0.89–1.64 (Co), 3.7–7.73 (Cr), 1.80–30.27 (Cu), 1073–2627 (Mn), 22.61–55.60 (Ni), 11.42–153.9 (Pb), 40.46–154.7 (Sn) and 65.0–146.5 (Zn). Dissolved metal concentrations (μg/L) ranged from n.d.–9.22 (Ag), n.d.–5.54 (Cd), n.d.–8.30 (Co), 5.26–60.82 (Cr), 10.96–43.11 (Cu), 184.7–375.9 (Mn), 1.84–38.3 (Ni), 5.98–47.77 (Pb), n.d.–540.6 (Sn) and 14.5–55.9 (Zn). Compared with WHO standards and other freshwaters worldwide, this lake was found to be unpolluted, with all metals, except Mn, being detected at concentrations lower than the highest desirable levels and maximum permissible levels. Some of the toxic metals, Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd (in sediment) and Ag, Co and Pb (in water) were detected at lower concentrations than those found in the polluted Kisumu Pier in Winam Gulf in the Lake basin, which confirms the anthropogenic influence on the latter.

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Acknowledgments

We thank the Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) in Mombasa for the technical assistance given to E.Z. Ochieng.

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Correspondence to J. O. Lalah.

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Ochieng, E.Z., Lalah, J.O. & Wandiga, S.O. Water Quality and Trace Metal Distribution in a Pristine Lake in the Lake Basin in Kenya. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 80, 362–368 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-008-9372-2

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Keywords

  • Heavy metals
  • Water quality
  • Lake Kanyabobli
  • Kenya