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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. 3, 2010, pp. 435-446
Bioline Code: st10043
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

International Journal of Environment Science and Technology, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2010, pp. 435-446

 en Assessment of heavy metal pollution in the urban stream sediments and its tributaries
Sekabira, K.; Origa, H. Oryem; Basamba, T.A.; Mutumba, G. & Kakudidi, E.


Globally, aquatic ecosystems are highly polluted with heavy metals arising from anthropogenic and terrigenous sources. The objective of this study was to investigate the pollution of stream sediments and possible sources of pollutants in Nakivubo Channel Kampala, Uganda. Stream sediments were collected and analysed for heavy metal concentration using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The degree of pollution in Nakivubo channelized stream sediments for lead, cadmium, copper, zinc, manganese and iron was assessed using enrichment factor, geoaccumulation index and pollution load index. The results indicated that (1) the sediments have been polluted with lead, cadmium and zinc and have high anthropogenic influences; (2) the calculation of geo-accumulation index suggest that Nakivubo stream sediments have background concentration for copper, manganese and Fe (Igeo ≤ 0); (3) factor analysis results reveal three sources of pollutants as explained by three factors (75.0 %); (i) mixed origin or retention phenomena of industrial and vehicular emissions; (ii) terrigenous and (iii) dual origin of zinc (vehicular and industrial). In conclusion, the co-precipitation (inclusion, occlusion and adsorption) of lead, cadmium and zinc with manganese and iron hydroxides, scavenging ability of other metals, very low dissolved oxygen and slightly acidic to slightly alkaline pH in stream water could account for the active accumulation of heavy metals in Nakivubo stream sediments. These phenomena may pose a risk of secondary water pollution under sediment disturbance and/or changes in the geo-chemistry of sediments.

Anthropogenic; Channelized; Factor analysis; Geo-accumulation; Vehicular

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