Heavy metal contamination in river water and sediments of the Swarnamukhi River Basin, India: risk assessment and environmental implications

Abstract

The concentration of heavy metals was analyzed each of 20 river water, suspended sediments and bed sediments along the stretch of Swarnamukhi River Basin. River water is not contaminated with heavy metals except Fe and Mn. Contamination factor in sediments shows considerable to very high degree contamination with Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn. The sources of these metals could be residential wastes, sewer outfall, fertilizers, pesticides (M-45 + carbondine) and traffic activities apart from natural weathering of granitic rocks present in the basin area. Principal component analyses indicate the interaction between metals in different media. The comparison of metals (Cu, Pb and Zn) in bed sediments of Swarnamukhi River with the Indian and world averages indicates that the values obtained in the basin are above the Indian averages and far below to the world averages. Average shale values and sediment quality guidelines point toward the enrichment and contamination of Cu, Cr, Pb and Zn to several fold leading to eco-toxicological risks in basin.

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Acknowledgements

The author (NJR) is indebted to the University Grants Commission (UGC) for financial support (1) under Major Research Project {(F. No. 42-413/2013 (SR)}; (2) under twenty-first century Indo-US Research Initiative 2014 to Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Mississippi State University, USA, in the Project “Clean Energy and Water Initiatives” {UGC No. F.194-1/2014 (IC)}. NJR is also thankful to DST (Department of Science and Technology) for providing research Grants under Purse-Phase II and Jawaharlal Nehru University for providing UPOE II (ID 170) funds under holistic development program.

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Correspondence to N. Janardhana Raju.

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Patel, P., Raju, N.J., Reddy, B.C.S.R. et al. Heavy metal contamination in river water and sediments of the Swarnamukhi River Basin, India: risk assessment and environmental implications. Environ Geochem Health 40, 609–623 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-017-0006-7

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Keywords

  • Swarnamukhi River
  • Suspended sediments
  • Heavy metal
  • Sediment quality guidelines
  • Contamination factor
  • Heavy metal pollution index