Water quality characteristics of surface water and Accumulation of heavy metals in sediments and Fish of Imo River, Imo State.

E.C. Ogoko, E. Donald


Freshwater must sufficiently be in quantity and quality that would support sustainable development and survival of mankind. Physicochemical properties and heavy metal concentration of the Imo River were investigated. Four sampling stations were selected 300 m apart along the River and sampling was done between August to November. Electrical conductivity, pH, total dissolved solids, biochemical oxygen demand, oxygen demand, chloride, sulphate, phosphate and heavy metal (Cu, Pb, Mn, Cr, Zn, Fe , Cd, Ni and As) were the parameters determined. Standard methods were employed for physicochemical analysis of water samples. Concentrations of heavy metals in water, sediment and fish samples were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The river was slightly alkaline in all the sampling stations (pH 7.10 to 8.60). Sulphate had the highest concentration (210.30 mg/L to 360.0 mg/L) nitrite had the lowest mean concentration (1.52 mg/L) among the anions in water samples. Nickel had the lowest concentrations in water (0.001mg/L) and fish (0.01 mg/kg) respectively. Iron was the most abundant metal in sediment (9645 mg/kg) and in fish tissue (13.51 mg/kg). Zinc had the greatest concentration in water (21.20 mg/L) whereas cadmium had the lowest concentration in sediments. Heavy metal concentrations were higher in sediments than in fish tissue and water. Imo River was contaminated with lead, copper, zinc and manganese.

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