Evaluation of chromium contamination in water, sediment and vegetation caused by the tannery of Jijel (Algeria): a case study
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In order to evaluate the chromium (Cr) contamination due to the discharge of waste waters from the tannery of Jijel in the Mouttas river (Algeria), samples of water, sediment and vegetation (Agropyrum repens) were collected during a 6 month period in four stations located upstream (control) and downstream of the tannery. The total chromium was measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Metal inputs were clearly related to effluent discharges from the tannery into the river. Although only traces of chromium were found in water samples upstream of the tannery, very high concentrations (up to 860 times higher) were detected downstream. The contamination was not limited to water of Mouttas River because a same difference in chromium concentrations was also found in sediments and plants Agropyrum repens that were sampled upstream and downstream of the tannery. This work showed that the treatment process used in the wastewater treatment plant of the tannery of Jijel is not able to remove the chromium detected in their influents. The occurrence and chromium levels detected in the aquatic environment represent a major problem concerning drinking water resources and environmental protection of water bodies.
KeywordsChromium Water pollution Agropyrum repens Tannery effluents Sediment
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