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Levels of trace metals in water and sediment from Tyume River and its effects on an irrigated farmland

OR Awofolu
Z Mbolekwa
V Mtshemla
OS Fatoki


Levels of trace metals (Cd, Pb, Co, Zn Cu and Ni) were determined in water and sediment from the Tyume River. Occurrence of these metals in vegetables and soil from a nearby farmland as a result of irrigation with the river water was also investigated. Higher levels of Cd (0.038 ± 0.004 to 0.044 ± 0.003 mg/l) and Pb (0.021 ± 0.004 to 0.035 ± 0.001 mg/l) were found in the river water, which may be detrimental to the “health” of the aquatic ecosystem and the rural communities that utilise the river water for domestic purposes without any treatment. Some of these metals were also detected in the soil and vegetables cultivated on the farmland which indicates a possible contribution from the river water.

Key words: trace metals, water, sediment, farmland, Tyume River

Water SA Vol.31(1) 2005: 87-94