IWA Publishing

Occurrence of heavy metals and contaminants on the surface of adjacent rivers

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Water is fundamental to the survival of living beings. It registers every impact and can function as an indicator of environmental stressors. Our objective in the current study was to assess the sanitary conditions of the waters in the Açude, Maria Lucinda and Santa Rosa streams. This was done by checking pH, running quantitative analyses of heavy metals and testing for total coliforms. The effect of ultraviolet (UV) rays on samples positive for coliforms was evaluated. The average pH of the streams ranged between 4 and 7 and changed between drought and rainy season conditions. Chromium and nickel values were above those permitted by the Brazilian National Council on the Environment, CONAMA. In the dry season, zinc values were above those established by CONAMA for waterbodies of Classes 1 and 2. Thermotolerant coliforms were present in all samples collected and above permitted values. After exposing the bacteria to UV light, it was noted that UV irradiation was unable to decrease the bacteria count. Ninety residents who use stream water were interviewed: 24% of interviewees said they use the waters of the Açude and Mary Lucinda streams and along the Santa Rosa stream, 95% of inhabitants said they use the water.

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