Evaluation of organochlorinated pesticide (OCP) residues in soil, sediment and water from the Msunduzi River in South Africa

  • Gbadebo Clement Adeyinka
  • Brenda MoodleyEmail author
  • Grace Birungi
  • Patrick Ndungu
Original Article


Organochlorinated pesticide (OCP) concentrations were evaluated in sediment, soil and surface water of the Msunduzi River as well as the influent, effluent and biosolids from the Darvill wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Samples were extracted with dichloromethane using an ultra-sonication method, and cleaned up using multilayered silica gel and analysed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The results showed that all 13 selected OCPs were detected in all the environmental media as well as in the wastewater treatment plant samples. The results revealed that the OCP concentrations along the sites varied based on the anthropogenic activities of the area. The influent of the Darvill WWTP and Du Toit (DUT) site were found to be the most polluted sites. The results from the winter sampling showed highest concentrations of OCPs compared to the spring season. Sediment was found to contain significant amounts of all the selected OCPs with water samples containing the lowest concentrations for both winter and spring seasons. Among the OCPs evaluated, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolites were predominant in all.


Organochlorinated pesticides Msunduzi River Wastewater treatment plant Winter and spring seasons 



The authors wish to thank the Water Research Commission (WRC) South Africa (Grant No. K5/2215//3) for providing funding for this research work as well as the School of Chemistry and Physics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal for the use of instrumentation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Physics, College of Agriculture, Engineering and SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville CampusDurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.Chemistry Department, Faculty of ScienceMbarara University of Science and TechnologyMbararaUganda
  3. 3.Department of Applied ChemistryUniversity of Johannesburg, Doornfontein CampusDoornfontein, JohannesburgSouth Africa

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