Seasonal variations in the level of heavy metals in the water of minor rivers

  • I. L. Sukhodolska Rivne State University of Humanities
Keywords: concentration, water ecosystem, pollutants, anthropogenic load


This article analyses the level of heavy metals (Zn, Mn, Fe, Pb, Co, Ni, Cd) and characteristics of their transportation through the water of minor rivers in Rivne region, Ukraine. The levels of Zn, Cu, Mn, Fe, Ni, Co in the waters of these fisheries exceeded the maximum permissible concentration limit in different months. We found that the concentration of Pb and Cd did not exceed the permissible concentration limit in the waters of the fisheries during the year of research, while the level of other metals exceeded the permissible levels by 1.1 to 151.0 times. This research confirms that the surface waters of Rivne region are characterized by high concentrations of iron, manganese, zinc, and nickel. The level of iron exceeded the maximum permissible concentration limit by 1.1 to 5.0 times, the level of zinc by 1.5 to 15.0 times, that of manganese by1.3 to 6.7 times and the nickel level by 1.3 to 151.0 times in the fishery waters. In principle, the increase in the level of heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Mn, Fe, Ni, Co) is connected with the lithological composition of reservoirs in the water-collecting areas of the investigated rivers, and besides with the significant influence of the anthropogenic load (fuel combustion, aqueous wastes of factory units, agricultural effluent, etc.), and with the increase in aquatic vegetation, pH balance, temperature change and so on. The appearance of iron-manganese compounds can be explained by natural causes such as reformation of the source minerals into secondary minerals in the conditions of pH level recession in water, which causes the release of these molecular entities; leaching of iron from the iron-manganese septarian nodules, a substantial amount of which is contained in the illuvial horizon. The increase in the level of zinc and nickel in the river water is connected with the leaching of these elements from subsurface rocks, soil and forest leaf litter. Atmospheric condensation is a significant source of the presence of nickel in the surface water. For the investigated rivers, the most significant factors in the water’s chemical composition are physiographic (foremost, the character of the soil cover, intensivity of erosion, extent of forest and swamp cover) and anthropogenous impact. In the rivers of Rivne region high concentrations of heavy metals are the consequence of the long-term aggradation of abiotic and biotic substances of the water ecosystem. There is a tendency for a reduction in the concentration of most metals in the abiotic substances of the water reservoir during the vegetative season and an increase after the end of this season. This research shows that the high level of contamination of the water of Rivne region’s minor rivers by the investigated heavy metal components is caused primarily by anthropogenic factors. 


Abdel-Khalek, A. A., Elhaddad, E., Mamdouh, S., & Marie, M. A. (2016). Assessment of metal pollution around sabal drainage in River Nile and its impacts on bioaccumulation level, metals correlation and human risk hazard using Oreochromis niloticus as a bioindicator. Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 16, 227–239. >>

Aliokhina, T. M., Bobko, A. O., & Malakhov, I. M. (2008). Content of the heavy metals in water and bottom sediments of the Ingulets River. Hydrobiological Journal, 44(5), 105–110. >>

Bhutiani, R., Khanna, D. R., Kulkarni, D. B., & Ruhela, M. (2016). Assessment of Ganga River ecosystem at Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India with reference to water quality indices. Applied Water Science, 6(2), 107–113. >>

Borbely, G., & Nagy, E. (2009). Removal of zinc and nickel ions by complexation-membrane filtration process from industrial wastewater. Desalination, 240(1–3), 218–226. >>

Bruins, M. R., Kapil, S., & Oehme, F. W. (2000). Microbial resistance to metals in the environment. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 45(3), 198–207. >>

Brygadyrenko, V. V., & Ivanyshin, V. M. (2014). Impact of ferric salt on body weight of Megaphyllum kievense (Diplopoda, Julidae) and litter granulometric composition in the laboratory experiment. Visnyk of Dnipropetrovsk University. Biology, Ecology, 22(1), 83–87. >>

Brygadyrenko, V. V., & Ivanyshyn, V. (2015). Changes in the body mass of Megaphyllum kievense (Diplopoda, Julidae) and the granulometric composition of leaf litter subject to different concentrations of copper. Journal of Forest Science, 61(9), 369–376. >>

Bukar, P. H., Oladipo, M. O. A., Ibeanu, I. G. E., & Zakari, I. Y. (2016). Assessment and distribution of metal pollutants in the water of River Ngadda and Alau Dam used for irrigation farming in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. American Journal of Research Communication, 4(4), 74–84. >>

Cavani, A. (2005). Breaking tolerance to nickel. Toxicology, 209(2), 119–121. >>

Çelebi, A., Şengörür, B., & Kløve, B. (2014). Seasonal and spatial variations of metals in Melen Watershed Groundwater, Turkey. CLEAN – Soil, Air, Water, 43(5), 739–745. >>

Chandra, S., Singh, P. K., Tiwari, A. K., Panigrahy, B., & Kumar, A. (2015). Evaluation of hydrogeological factor and their relationship with seasonal water table fluctuation in Dhanbad district, Jharkhand, India. ISH Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 21(2), 1–14. >>

Chen, C. W., Chen, C. F., & Dong, C. D. (2012). Copper contamination in the sediments of Salt River Mouth, Taiwan. International Conference on Future Energy, Environment, and Materials, 16, 901–906. >>

Chen, C. W., Kao, C. M., Chen, C. F., & Dong, C. D. (2007). Distribution and accumulation of heavy metals in the sediments of Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan. Chemosphere, 66(6), 1431–1440. >>

Dong, C. D., Chen, C. F., & Chen, C. W. (2012). Contamination of zinc in sediments at River Mouths and Channel in Northern Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan. International Journal of Environmental Science and Development, 3(6), 517–521. >>

Dragun, Z., Roje, V., Mikac, N., & Raspor, B. (2009). Preliminary assessment of total dissolved trace metal concentrations in Sava River water. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 159(1–4), 99–110. >>

Elkady, A. A., Sweet, S. T., Wade, T. L., & Klein, A. G. (2015). Distribution and assessment of heavy metals in the aquatic environment of Lake Manzala, Egypt. Ecological Indicators, 58, 445–457. >>

Fedonenko, O., Yesipova, N., & Sharamok, T. (2016). The accumulation of heavy metals and cytometric characteristics features of red blood cells in different ages of carp fish from Zaporozhian Reservoir. International Letters of Natural Sciences, 53, 72–79. >>

Fufeyin, T. P., & Egborge, A. B. M. (1998). Heavy metals of Ikpoba River, Benin, Nigeria. Tropical Freshwater Biology, 7, 27–36. >>

Godt, J., Scheidig, F., Grosse-Siestrup, C., Esche, V., Brandenburg, P., Reich, A., & Groneberg, D. (2006). The toxicity of cadmium and resulting hazards for human health. Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 1, 22–30. >>

Grubinko, V. V., Gorda, A. I., Bodnar, O. I., & Klochenko, P. D. (2011). Metabolism of algae under the impact of metal ions of the aquatic medium (a review). Hydrobiological Journal, 47(6), 75–88. >>

Kim, Y., Kim, B. K., & Kim, K. (2010). Distribution and speciation of heavy metals and their sources in Kumbo River sediments Korea. Environment Earth Science, 60(5), 943–942. >>

Klimas, A. A. (1995). Impacts of urbanization and protection of water resources in the Vilnius District, Lithuania. Hydrobiological Journal, 3(1), 24–35. >>

Klymenko, M. O., Pylypenko, J. V., & Bjedunkova, O. O. (2016). Ogljad pidhodiv do ocinjuvannja zdorov’ja gidroekosystem za pokaznykamy gomeostazu ryb [Health assessment of hydro-ecosystems based on homeostasis indicators of fish: Review of approaches]. Visnyk of Dnipropetrovsk University. Biology, Ecology, 24(1), 61–71 (in Ukrainian). >>

Kul’bachko, Y. L., Didur, O. O., Loza, I. M., Pakhomov, O. E., & Bezrodnova, O. V. (2015). Environmental aspects of the effect of earthworm (Lumbricidae, Oligochaeta) tropho-metabolic activity on the pH buffering capacity of remediated soil (steppe zone, Ukraine). Biology Bulletin, 42, 899–904. >>

Li, P., Qian, H., Howard, K. W. F., & Wu, J. (2015). Heavy metal contamination of Yellow River alluvial sediments, Northwest China. Environmental Earth Sciences, 73(7), 3403–3415. >>

Lim, W. Y., Aris, A. Z., & Zakaria, M. P. (2012). Spatial variability of metals in sur¬face water and sediment in the Langat River and geochemical factors that influ¬ence their water-sediment interactions. The Scientific World Journal, 39, 1–14. >>

Linnik, P. N. (2000). Heavy metals in surface waters of Ukraine: Their content and forms of migration. Hydrobiological Journal, 36(3), 31–54. >>

Linnik, P. N., Zhezherya, V. A., & Zubenko, I. B. (2012). Content of metals and forms of their migration in the water of the rivers of the Pripyat River Basin. Hydrobiological Journal, 48(2), 85–101. >>

Linnik, P., & Zhezherya, V. (2011). Peculiarities of metals migration in the "bottom sediments − water" system with decreasing pH and increasing the concentration of fulvic acids. Hydrobiological Journal, 47(5), 86–101. >>

Logeshkumaran, A., Magesh, N. S., Godson, P. S., & Chandrasekar, N. (2014). Hydro-geochemistry and application of water quality index (WQI) for groundwater quality assessment, Anna Nagar, part of Chennai City, Tamil Nadu, India. Applied Water Science, 5(4), 335–343. >>

Lomniczi, I., Boemo, A., & Musso, H. (2007). Location and characterisation of pollution sites by principal component analysis of trace contaminants in a slightly polluted seasonal river: A case study of the Arenales River (Salta, Argentina). Water SA, 3(4), 479–485. >>

Novikov, Y., Lastochkina, K., & Boldina, Z. (1990). Metody isledovania kachestva vody vodoemov [Research methods of water quality of water basins]. Meditsyna, Moscow (in Russian).

Pandey, J., & Singh, R. (2015). Heavy metals in sediments of Ganga River: up- and downstream urban influences. Applied Water Science, 5, 1–10. >>

Prokopchuk, O. I., & Grubinko, V. V. (2016). Vazhki metaly u malyh richkah Ternopil’shhyny z riznym rivnem antropichnogo navantazhennja [Heavy metals in the small rivers of Ternopil region under different types of anthropogenic pressure]. Visnyk of Dnipropetrovsk University. Biology, Ecology, 24(1), 173–181 (in Ukrainian). >>

Ptashynski, M. D., & Klaverkamp, J. F. (2002). Accumulation and distribution of dietary nickel in lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis). Aquatic Toxicology, 58, 249–264. >>

Reza, R., & Singh, G. (2010). Heavy metal contamination and its indexing approach for river water. International Journal of Environmental Science & Technology, 7(4), 785–792. >>

Romanenko, V. (2001). Osnovy hidroekolohii [Basics of hydroecology]. Oberehy, Kyiv (in Ukrainian).

Sudha, C. M., Ravichandran, S., & Sakthivadivel, R. (2013). Water bodies protection index for assessing the sustainability status of lakes under the influence of urbanization: A case study of south Chennai, India. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 15(5), 1157–1171. >>

Tsvetkova, N. M., Pakhomov, O. Y., Serdyuk, S. M., & Yakyba, M. S. (2016). Biologichne riznomanittja Ukrajiny. Dnipropetrovs'ka oblast'. Grunty. Metaly u gruntah [Bіological diversity of Ukraine. The Dnipropetrovsk region. Soils. Metalls in the soils]. Lira, Dnipropetrovsk (in Ukrainian).

Volesky, Z. R., & Holan, A. (1995). Biosorption of heavy metals. Biotechnol. Progress, 11, 235–250. >>

Yang, X. E., Baligar, V. C., Martens, D. C., & Clark, R. B. (1995). Influx, transport and accumulation of cadmium in plant species grown at different Cd2+ activities. Environmental Journal of Environmental Science and Health, 30, 569–583. >>