Application of algae in biomonitoring and phytoextraction of heavy metals contamination in urban stream water|
Sekabira, K.; Oryem Origa, H.; Basamba, T.A.; Mutumba, G. & Kakudidi, E.
Biological technologies for wastewater remediation techniques employed to remove contaminants in urban stream water are increasingly receiving attention worldwide. The purpose of this study was therefore to determine the concentrations of lead, cadmium, copper, zinc, manganese and iron in algal biomass and establish the feasibility of using algae in phytoextraction and bio-monitoring of environmental quality. Analysis of algal biomass samples in the Nakivubo urban stream ecosystem, Kampala, Uganda, showed that there was contamination by lead, cadmium, copper and zinc as indicated by enrichment factor and pollution load index values. It is suspected that industrial and vehicular emissions are the major sources of these pollutants. Calculated bio-concentration factor was = 1000 but with low concentration thresholds in each element, suggesting that algal biomass was a very good heavy metal accumulator. The bio-concentration values in algal biomass were found to be in the order of copper > zinc > lead > cadmium in the Nakivubo Channelized stream. In conclusion, algae can be a promising aquatic bio-filter plant for phytoextraction and bio-monitoring of polluted urban stream ecosystems and wastewater.
Bio-filter; Biomass; Green algae; Phytosorption; Wastewater