Assessment of Canal Sediments for Agricultural Uses
By: Sana Akhtar, Sara Abid, Almas Hamid, Sajid Rashid Ahmad
Key Words: Canal, Sediments, Agriculture, Heavy metals, Total coliform.
J. Bio. Env. Sci. 8(4), 188-195, April 2016.
The study was conducted to analyze the extent of heavy metals contamination and bacteriological content in the sediments of Lahore Branch Canal. The main purpose of digging this canal was that the areas of Lahore and Kasur could be irrigated for the means of agriculture. Due to improper drainage systems of industrial sectors and residential areas the level of pollution is increasing in the canal. Sediment samples were collected from three sites located at the canal intersections namely Thokar Niaz Baig, Punjab University New Campus and Dharampura during the canal closure period in 2014 and 2015. The samples were analyzed for heavy metals (Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Cobalt, Zinc and Iron) by using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy and the bacteriological content (Total coliform) was analyzed by pour plate method. The metals Zinc, Chromium, Copper and Cobalt were detected in minute concentration. Only the concentration of iron was higher than the recommended limit. According to the Codex Alimentarius standards, all the sediments samples were in safe limits. The Total coliform concentrations for the areas Thokar Niaz Baig, Punjab University and Dharampura were 2500, 5000 and 6000 colonies in year 2014 respectively. In 2015 the colonies of total coliform were found to be 1100, 4130 and 6400 in the same areas respectively. When these sediments are used for agricultural purposes the deposited metals present in them pose harm to the crops. When crops are eaten by human, the metals ultimately get transferred to human.