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Application of pollution indices to quantify the pollution status of shallow sediments of the Bolgoda Lake, Sri Lanka

Author:

WM Dimuthu Nilmini Wijeyaratne

LK
About WM Dimuthu Nilmini

Department of Zoology and Environmental Management, Faculty of Science, University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya.

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Abstract

The present study was conducted to assess the pollution status of the shallow sediments of the Bolgoda Lake in Sri Lanka using sediment pollution indices. Shallow sediment samples were collected as replicates from five sites with different land uses in the monsoonal and nonmonsoonal seasons in 2013. The samples were acid digested and analysed for Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Fe and Zn. The heavy metal concentrations were used to calculate: (1) contamination factor (Ci f ); (2) degree of contamination (Cd); (3) pollution loading index (PLI); (4) enrichment ratio (ER); (5) geoaccumulation index (Igeo) and (6) ecological risk factor (Eri ) of the shallow sediment samples. In addition, the quality of the sediments were also assessed by comparing with the numerical sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) and consensus-based sediment quality guidelines (CBSQGs).

Significant spatial variations of element concentrations and sediment quality indices were identified in the study area. The pollution level of the study sites ranged from unpolluted to heavily polluted due to heavy metals. The contamination factors for all the heavy metals except Zn indicated moderate, considerable or very high level of pollution in both sampling sessions. The potential ecological risk factor for the heavy metals ranked as Cd > Ni > Cr > Cu > Zn for both sampling sessions indicating the highest potential ecological risk from Cd. The pollution load index for all the study sites except site E in both sampling sessions showed human associated pollution with a PLI higher than 1. All the samples were categorised into class 1 (unpolluted to moderately polluted status) with respect to Cr, Ni, Cu and Zn and to class 0 (unpolluted status) with respect to Cd.

The concentrations of Zn and Cd in the present study were lower than the threshold effect concentration (TEC) level of CBSQGs and therefore, was indicated as unlikely to be causing toxicity to benthic organisms. The concentrations of Cr and Ni were higher than the probable effect concentration (PEC) level of CBSQGs and indicated a probable toxicity to benthic organisms.

How to Cite: Wijeyaratne, W.D.N., (2016). Application of pollution indices to quantify the pollution status of shallow sediments of the Bolgoda Lake, Sri Lanka. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka. 44(3), pp.279–289. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v44i3.8010
Published on 28 Sep 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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