African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology

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Assessment of some heavy metals and physicochemical properties in surface soils of municipal open waste dumpsite in Yenagoa, Nigeria

BMW Amos-Tautua, AO Onigbinde, D Ere


The current study was designed for the assessment of lead, cadmium and chromium and some physicochemical properties of soils collected from an open dumpsite in Yenagoa, Nigeria. Surface soil samples at two depths (0-10 and 10-20 cm) were randomly collected at the dump field and control site, and were analyzed for physicochemical parameters and contamination by lead, chromium and cadmium using standard analytical methods. The results show that the main dumpsite had higher sand (>80.0%) and lower clay and silt contents than the control site. Soil mean pH varied between 4.89±0.05 in the control and 7.60±0.02 in the dump. Total nitrogen (N) content of the dump soils ranged from 0.06±0.07 to 0.24±0.09% and is slightly higher than that of the control soil. This is reflected in the high value of organic matter (4.71±0.85%) in dump soils. Available P was quite high ranging from 35.00±1.01 to 84.20±1.02 mg/kg. Cation exchange capacity (CEC) varied between 12.98±0.31 and 91.07±0.11 cmol kg−1. ECEC levels were moderate to high ranging from 14.10±0.10 to 91.47±0.11 cmol/kg. All the soil samples had very high base saturation (>90.0%) and exchangeable Ca, Mg, K and Na, far above the critical levels set by FAO for agricultural soil. Average levels of Pb ranged from 14.75±0.05 to 16.14±0.04 mg/kg in the dump and 8.35±0.05 to 8.78±0.07 mg/kg in the control. Mean concentration of Cr in the dump soil varied between 0.05±0.01 and 0.06±0.01 mg/kg, and is slightly higher than the control (0.005±0.01 mg/kg), while Cd was found in trace amounts (<0.0001±0.01 mg/kg). These values are all far below the maximum tolerable levels set by FAO and WHO for agricultural soil. It is suggested that the dumpsite and the control area with their adequate soil nutrients and low levels of metals should eventually be converted to agricultural farmland. No remediation is needed at this time.

Keywords: Dump waste soil, heavy metal, soil fertility.
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