American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Status of Heavy Metals in Water and Sediment of the Meghna River, Bangladesh

Mahmud Hassan, Mirza A.T.M. Tanvir Rahman, Badhan Saha and Abdul Kadir Ibne Kamal

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2015.427.439

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 11, Issue 6

Pages 427-439


The pollution of river water and sediments by heavy metals has assumed serious problems due to their toxicity and accumulative behavior. The present study has been undertaken to assess the levels of heavy metals and the extent of pollution in the surface water and sediments from the Meghna river. Water and sediment samples were collected by the Standard Methods and, processed and analyzed for heavy metals using Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (FAAS). The mean concentrations of heavy metal found in the river water were in the order of: Fe (1.0224 mg L-1) > Zn (0.0364 mg L-1) > Cr (0.0346 mg L-1) > Mn (0.0088 mg L-1) > Cd (0.003 mg L-1) and in the sediments in the order of: Fe (1281.416 mg kg-1) > Mn (442.596 mg kg-1) > Zn (79.021 mg kg-1) > Ni (76.116 mg kg-1) > Cr (31.739 mg kg-1) > Pb (9.4702 mg kg-1) > Cd (0.230 mg kg-1). Pb and Ni were found below detection limit in river water. Based on the findings, the Meghna river water can be considered as unpolluted with respect to Cd, Cr, Mn and Zn, whereas concentration of Fe was above the standard value according to recommended standard guidelines. According to Sediment Quality Guideline (USEPA, 1989), sediments were not polluted for Cd, Pb and Zn; moderately polluted for Cr and Mn and heavily polluted for Ni. The sediment geo-accumulation index (Igeo) values showed no pollution for most of sampling sites for all studied heavy metals. Pollution Load Index (PLI) values showed that all the studied sampling sites were not polluted and on the other hand mean Contamination Factor (CF) values showed low pollution for all measured heavy metals except Ni which indicated moderate pollution. This study can be used as reference to monitor the quality of water and sediments of the Meghna river.


© 2015 Mahmud Hassan, Mirza A.T.M. Tanvir Rahman, Badhan Saha and Abdul Kadir Ibne Kamal. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.