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International Journal of Environment Science and Technology
Center for Environment and Energy Research and Studies (CEERS)
ISSN: 1735-1472
EISSN: 1735-2630
Vol. 7, No. 1, 2010, pp. 119-126
Bioline Code: st10013
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

International Journal of Environment Science and Technology, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2010, pp. 119-126

 en Accumulation of lead, cadmium, manganese, copper and zinc by sludge worms; Tubifex tubifex check for this species in other resources in sewage sludge
Kaonga, C. C.; Kumwenda, J. & Mapoma, H. T.

Abstract

Tubifex tubifex check for this species in other resources has been shown to survive in organic polluted environments, however, not much has been done on its inorganic pollution tolerance. Samples of T. tubifex and their respective sewage sludge were taken from Soche wastewater treatment plant in Blantyre City, Malawi during July 2007 to November 2008. The total number of sludge samples taken was fifty one which was made into seventeen composite samples. A total of seventeen T. tubifex samples were also collected. The samples were analyzed for copper, lead, manganese, zinc and cadmium using standard methods from American Public Health Association and Association of Official Analytical Chemists. The concentrations of metals in sewage sludge and T. tubifex were on dry weight basis and the metals determined were acid extractable. In general, heavy metals concentration was lower in T. tubifex than in sewage sludge. The range of heavy metals concentrations were (in sludge and (T. tubifex)): zinc 275.3 - 361.5 mg/kg (45.0 - 82.2 mg/kg), manganese 293.7 - 230.1 mg/kg (1.21 - 3.69 mg/kg), copper 86.5 - 120.1 mg/kg (1.6 - 4.7 mg/kg), lead 11.2 - 22.4 mg/kg (Below detection limit – 0.95 ) and cadmium 1.12 - 2.31 mg/kg (1.08 - 2.18 mg/kg). The results showed significant differences between the concentrations of manganese, copper, lead and zinc in sewage sludge and T. tubifex (p < 0.05). However there was no significant difference between the concentrations of cadmium in sewage sludge and T. tubifex (p > 0.05). T. tubifex did not show the ability to accumulate heavy metals (attributed to its high defecation and metabolic rate) except for cadmium hence cannot be used as a bioindicator for heavy metal pollution in sludge.

Keywords
Biological indicator; Heavy metals; Pollution; T. tubifex; Wastewater treatment plant

 
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