Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Assessment of heavy metal contamination in irrigation water, soil, and some vegetables grown within Awash River basin, Ethiopia


Tizazu Hailemariam, Tesfalem Belay, Alemayehu Esayas

Recieved Date: 2021-01-02, Accepted Date: 2021-03-17


The objective of present study was to assess heavy metals cadmium, copper, manganese, chromium, and lead contaminations in irrigation water, soils and edible vegetables grown in irrigated farmlands within Awash River basin, Ethiopia. The water used for irrigation had the following concentrations: 0.011-1.244, 0.31-1.743, BDL -0.523, BDL -0.275 and BDL -0.44 mg/L for Cr, Mn, Cd, Pb and Cu, respectively. Highest concentrations (mg/L) of Cr (1.244, 1.183, and 1.12) and Mn (1.743, 1.15, and 1.57) were observed in irrigation water from (Hatebela, Akaki and Aba-Samuel) and Hatebella and Akaki for Cd (0.523, 0.39), Pb (0.3) and Cu (0.44, 0.37), respectively, which were above the recommended safe limits of heavy metals by FAO/ WHO. The concentrations of all the heavy metals studied were detected in soil and the concentration of Cr, Mn and Cd in irrigated soil samples from the sites of Akaki, Aba-Samuel, Hatebella and Koka were above the recommended safe limits of heavy metals by FAO/WHO and lower than EU standards. Heavy metal concentrations varied among different vegetables studied. Among the vegetable examined, Cr, Mn and Cd had the highest concentrations in lettuce and spinach vegetables in the upper basin of Awash River and their concentrations were above the recommended safe limits of heavy metals by FAO/WHO. Transfer factor (TF) was highest in Pb (2.05, 2, and 1.8) in lettuce tomato and spinach at Hattebela, followed by Cr (1.5, 1.4) in Hatebella in lettuce and spinach and 1.2 in Akaki in lettuce.


Heavy metals, vegetables, soil, irrigation water

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2021
Volume: 19
Issue: 2
Category: Environment
Pages: 83-88

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