Heavy metals in the small rivers of Ternopil region under different types of anthropogenic pressure

  • O. Prokopchuk Ternopil National Pedagogical University named after Volodymyr Gnatyuk
  • V. Hrubinko Ternopil National Pedagogical University named after Volodymyr Gnatyuk
Keywords: hydroecosystem, heavy metals, water, emission limit


The dynamic of content and peculiarities of migration of heavy metals in small rivers of Ternopil region were analyzed (Zn, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Pb). It was determined that cobalt does not exceed maximum permissible levels, whereas the content of other metals exceed these levels at rates from 2 to 42 times the emission limit set by the fishing industry. The waters of Ternopil region are the richest in the compounds of iron and manganese by virtue of the lithological content of the researched water basins. The excess in Mn and Fe concentration in river water is caused by occurrence of these elements in abiotic components of river valleys, particularly in areas with iron and manganese, alluvial deposits, clay soils with ferrous metal compounds and leaching of elements from rock, soil and forest litter. As our research showed, increased metal content in water basins is caused by natural factors (river running through areas with ore and where leaching of ore occurs it, reaction of interstitial water, metals appearing in ground water run-off), anthropogenic (waste waters of industrial plants, agricultural outwash, fuel combustion) and hydrochemical factors of the hydroecosystem itself (consumption and releasing of metals by hydrobionts, aquatic habitat pH, metals coming in from ground sediments, metals released from complexes with organic compounds, methylation of non-organic metal compounds). A comparative analysis of the pollution levels of Ternopil region water basins by heavy metals was completed. It was determined that the river most heavily contaminated by the content of nutrients and non-biogenic HM is the Zolota Lypa and the cleanest is the River Strypa, which allows us to recommend the use of water composition as a reference indicator in assessing the ecological state of the region’s surface waters. 


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