Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques
2018, Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages: 81-83
J. Environ. Treat. Tech.
ISSN: 2309-1185
Journal weblink:
The Study of Heavy Metals in Sediments
Sampled From Dal Lake
Faizanul Mukhtar*, Hamida Chisti
Department of Chemistry, National Institute of Technology, Srinagar, J&K, India, 190006
Received: 30/10/2017
Accepted: 23/02/2018
Published: 30/12/2018
Water quality monitoring has been high priority to determine the current conditions of the water system. The fast-growing
population, unmanageable urbanization, steep industrialization and improper utilization of water resources have led to the
unmatched destruction of water quality throughout the globe. The present study evaluates some of the heavy metals sampled
from Dal Lake on temporal basis. These sediments were sampled and analyzed for heavy metals by atomic absorption
spectrophotometery. However, the observed heavy metal concentration in these sediments was below the recommended limits.
Thus, monitoring of man-made pollution which may lead to ecosystem and food chain contamination is necessary.
Keywords: Water quality, Dal Lake, Sediments, Heavy metals, Temporal basis
1 Introduction1
world’s biological diversity
[3]. Heavy metals are
Water, a prime natural resource and precious national
important environmental pollutants and their toxicity is a
problem of increasing significance for ecological,
asset, forms the chief constituent of the ecosystem. Water is
a universal solvent and the most plentiful substance on
evolutionary, and environmental reasons [4]. This problem
earth. The natural aquatic environments are characterized
is not only currently acute but it is also becoming
regressive day by day. In the long run, the effect of water
by a complexity seldom encountered in the laboratory.
Natural waters indeed are open and dynamic systems with
quality destruction alters the delicate balance of the nature.
variable inputs of mass and energy. The flow of energy
Basically, the contaminants of water are classified as
organic and inorganic pollutants. The inorganic pollutants
(solar radiations) from a higher to lower potential drives the
hydrological and geochemical cycles. Lakes are subjected
consists mainly the heavy metals. According to
to various natural processes taking place in the
environmentalists and researchers, the term “heavy metal”
is often used in their research articles as a combined name
environment, such as the hydrological cycle, silting etc.
Storm water runoff and discharge of sewage into the lakes
for metals and semi-metals
(metalloids) that have been
are two common ways that various nutrients enter the
associated with contamination and potential threat in terms
of toxicity. However, as per the literature survey, the term
aquatic ecosystems resulting in the death of those systems
[1]. Water quality characteristics of aquatic environment
heavy metal has never been appropriately defined by any
arise from a multitude of physical, chemical and biological
established authoritative bodies such as IUPAC and reveals
that the term “heavy metals” has been used inconsistently.
interactions. A regular monitoring of water bodies with
required number of parameters in relation to water quality
Some authors define it in relation to density or specific
gravity [5] others define it in terms of atomic mass or
not only prevents the outbreak of diseases but also help to
mitigate occurrence of hazards. Fresh water systems are
atomic number while some definitions have no clear cut
critical for the sustainability of all life [2]. However, the
explanation except toxicity. This term is misnomer because
they are not all “heavy” in terms of atomic weight, density,
declining qualities of the waters in these systems threaten
their sustainability. Lakes and surface water reservoirs are
or atomic number and some are not even entirely metallic
the planet’s most important fresh water resources and
in character e.g. arsenic (metalloid). Metals and metalloids
due to their extensive use represent an important fraction of
provide innumerable benefits. They are used for domestic
and irrigation purposes, and provide ecosystems for aquatic
the pollutants. Several unforgettable historical episodes due
life especially fish, thereby functioning as a source of
to heavy metal contamination in aquatic environment have
increased the awareness towards the menace of heavy metal
essential protein, and for significant elements of the
toxicity. Metals can be distinguished from other toxic
pollutants, since they are non-biodegradable and can
Corresponding author: Faizanul Mukhtar, Department of
accumulate in living tissues, thus becoming concentrated
Chemistry, National Institute of Technology, Srinagar,
throughout the food chain. A variety of anthropogenic
J&K, India, 190006. E-mail:
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques
2018, Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages: 81-83
sources and industries are responsible for the release of
3 Results and Discussion
heavy metals into the aquatic environment [6, 7]. Metal
Seasonal variation in different heavy metal
ions are natural components in the earth’s crust and hence
concentration in the sediments of Dal Lake is presented in
cannot be destroyed or degraded, so they are ubiquitous in
Table 1. Graphical representation of seasonal variation in
the environments. Metal ions can be dispersed into the
different heavy metal concentration in sediments of Dal
earth’s elements: soil, water and air. Human use of metals
Lake is presented in Fig 1. The concentrations of variables
has remarkably affected the environment after the industrial
displayed great seasonality.
A remarkable high
concentration of (Fe) iron, ranged from 8.91ppm to 11.92
ppm was present. The Fe content indicated that this metal
revolution, by the various industrial setups. There are
was abundant in soil and rocks of catchment area from
numerous sources of metal ion pollution of the aquatic
where the water reaches to the lake. As regards the effect of
environments. However, mainly two sources natural and
season on heavy metals concentration in sediments of Dal,
anthropogenic are responsible for pollution. Due to high
concentration of metals like Fe, Zn, Cu, Ni and Mn were
mobility, solubility, persistency, toxicity and bio-
maximum during summer and rainy season while minimum
accumulation tendency of the metal ions in aquatic
concentrations were observed during winter season. This
ecosystems creates adverse effects on human health and
trend could be attributed to the evaporation of water from
environmental degradation [8-10]. One of the most famous
lakes during summer and subsequent dilution due to
and beautiful lakes of world, Dal lake, is a Himalayan
precipitation and run off from catchment area during rainy
urban lake surrounded by mountains on its three sides. Dal
season. The variations in the concentration level of heavy
lake is situated at an altitude of 1,886m above sea level
metals are due to the variation of the solubility of the
34o6'-34o10' N latitude and
-74o9' E
existing forms of metal in water as well as their availability
longitude, in the heart of the Kashmir valley on the north
in the immediate environment. Among metals the level of
east of the state summer capital Srinagar. The lake is multi-
Zinc ranged from 0.654 to 0.845 ppm.
basined comprising of four basins. Temporal study was
carried to know the effect on the concentration of various
heavy metal ions.
2- Experimental
2.1 Sample collection and pre-treatment
The sampling network was designed to cover a wide
range of determinates of key sites, which reasonably
represent the water quality of the lake system. The
sampling stations were selected based on ecological
settings and human activities in the area. The samplings
were done in year 2015. The top 20 cm of the bottom
sediment samples were collected from each sampling
station using the Eckman bottom sampler and kept in glass
(1 kg). The sediment samples (1 kg) were wet
digested; then 25mL of the samples was prepared using
Summer Rainy Winter
0.1N HCl. The concentrations of zinc (Zn), copper (Cu),
(Ni), Iron
(Fe) and Manganese
(Mn) were
Fig 1: Heavy metal content in sediments during different seasons
determined using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer
A certain degree of variation was observed in zinc
concentration. In natural water system Zn remains as either
2.2 Chemicals and reagents
hydroxide or carbonate form with having almost same
Triple distilled water was used throughout the work.
solubility which is higher than solubility of majority of the
All chemicals and reagents were analytical grade, Merck
existing forms of other metals. This could be the reason for
(Darmstadt, Germany). Standard solutions of these
comparatively higher values of Zn in studied lake water.
elements were prepared by dilution of 1000 ppm certified
The concentration of Cu ranged from 0.010 to 0.109 ppm
standard solutions.
and was well within the permissible of WHO (2 ppm). The
Ni concentration ranges from 0.001 to 0.277 ppm. Sources
of Ni may include electronic components, utensils and their
washings. Mn concentration varies from 0.061 to 0.228
Table 1: Heavy metal content in sediments during different seasons.
Heavy Metals (ppm)
Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques
2018, Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages: 81-83
4 Conclusion
The heavy metal concentration in studied lake showed
distinct temporal variations. There was significant seasonal
variation in metal concentration within the study period.
The dry season registered elevated levels of metals as
compared to wet season. Dilution effect of rainy season due
to storm run-off into receiving lakes and excessive
evaporation of surface water with its attendant pre-
concentration of most of metals may be responsible for
observed trend. The results of study have indicated gross
pollution of lakes especially regards heavy metals. The
average level of metals followed the order Fe > Zn > Mn >
Ni > Cu. Through some of detected heavy metals are
beneficial for human and plants up to a certain limit; it may
be harmful beyond that. The findings of this study could
serve as water quality data base for the study area for future
water project developments and further research.
The authors would like to thank all the agencies
involved during this research work.
1. M. Vega, R. Pardo, E. Barrodo and L. Deban, Water
Res., 1996; 32(12): 3581.
2. Q. Zhou, J. Zhang, J. Fu, J. Shi and G. Jiang, Anal.
Chim. Act., 2008; 606(2):
3. Y. J. An, D. H. Kampbell and G. W. Sewell, Environ.
Pollution, 2002; 118(3): 331.
4. P. C. Nagajyoti, N. Dinakar, T.N.V.K.V. Prasad, J. of
Appl. Sci. Res., 2008; 4(1): 110.
5. D.W. O’Connell, C. Birkinshaw, and T.F. O’Dwyer,
Biores. Technol., 2008; 99, 6709.
6. L. Friberg, and C.G. Elinder, Encyclopedia of
Occupational Health, Third ed. International Labor
Organization, Geneva, 1985.
7. C.J. Williams, D. Aderhold, and G.J. Edyvean, Water
Research, 1998, 32, 216.
8. U.K. Garg, M. P. Kaur, V.K. Garg, and D. Sud, J. of
Hazard. Mat., 2007, 140, 60.
9. P.S. Kumar, S. Ramalingam, V. Sathyaselvabala, S.D.
Kirupha, A. Murugesan, and S.
Sivanesan, Korean
J. of Chemical Eng., 2012, 29, 756.
10. A.B.P. Marin, M.I. Aguilar, J.F. Ortuno, V.F.
Meseguer, J. Saez, and M. Florenz, Journal of Chem.
Technol. and Biotechnol.,2010, 85, 1310.