Physicochemical characterization and heavy metals analysis from industrial discharges in Upper Awash River Basin, Ethiopia

DESSIE, B.K., TESEMA, B., ASEGIDE, E., TIBEBE, D., ALAMIREW, T., WALSH, Claire and ZELEKE, G. (2022). Physicochemical characterization and heavy metals analysis from industrial discharges in Upper Awash River Basin, Ethiopia. Toxicology Reports, 9, 1297-1307.

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The recent expansion of industries in Addis Ababa is causing additional environmental pollution through wastewater discharges; this is becoming a critical concern. Addis Ababa is located in the upper Awash River basin, and is the main source of industrial pollutants to the river. In this study, physicochemical parameters, nutrients and heavy metal content of wastewaters released from 16 factories, 6 tanneries, 6 beverages and 4 diverse factories, and the Akaki-Kality central wastewater treatment plant in Addis Ababa, were sampled to assess the level of pollutants. Heavy metals were determined using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Analysis of nutrients were conducted using Palintest Photometer. Physicochemical characteristics were measured either in situ using a portable micro meter or in the laboratory. Among the measured physicochemical properties, critical issues were observed with electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids and total hardness. Effluents from all of the tanneries, and a number of other factories, were found at levels higher than the maximum limits of various guideline standards. In addition, samples from two of the tanneries (T1 and T5), two beverage factories (B3 and B6) and the central wastewater treatment plant showed elevated concentrations of PO43-, which violated the limit (10 mg/l) set by Environmental Protection Agency of Ethiopia (ETHEPA). The two tanneries (T1 and T5) also contained higher SO42- than the guideline limit of 1000 mg/l. On the other hand, only one factory, one brewery (B3), exhibited NO3- above the standard limit of 20 mg/l. Whereas NH3, NH4+, Cl-, S2- and NO2- were within the limits in all of the samples. Severe pollution was found in wastewaters from tanneries, where half of them (T1, T5 and T6) contained Cr beyond the maximum limit of 2000 µg/l. Furthermore, a third of the tanneries (T1 and T5) and a beverage factory (B5) contained Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu, higher than the ETHEPA limits of 10000, 5000, 5000 and 2000 µg/l, respectively. Waste disposal from factories without proper treatment can cause great harm to the local people and the environment. Hence, the results of this study call for regulatory bodies to pay close attention to factories, particularly tanneries, in Addis Ababa in implementing adequate treatments of their wastewater discharges

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0304 Medicinal and Biomolecular Chemistry; 0399 Other Chemical Sciences; 1103 Clinical Sciences
Identification Number:
Page Range: 1297-1307
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2022 10:12
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 10:45

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