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Status of metal levels and their potential sources of contamination in Southeast Asian rivers.

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      Abstract

      To assess the concentration and status of metal contaminants in four major Southeast Asian river systems, water were collected from the Tonle Sap-Bassac Rivers (Cambodia), Citarum River (Indonesia), lower Chao Phraya River (Thailand), and Saigon River (Vietnam) in both dry and wet seasons. The target elements were Be, Al, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Mo, Ag, Cd, Ba, Tl, and Pb and the concentrations exceeded the background metal concentrations by 1- to 88-fold. This distinctly indicates enrichment by human urban area activities. The results of a normalization technique used to distinguish natural from enriched metal concentrations confirmed contamination by Al, Cd, Co, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn. Cluster analysis revealed the probable source of metals contamination in most sampling sites on all rivers studied to be anthropogenic, including industrial, commercial, and residential activities. Stable lead isotopes analyses applied to track the sources and pathways of anthropogenic lead furthermore confirmed that anthropogenic sources of metal contaminated these rivers. Discharges of wastewater from both industrial and household activities were major contributors of Pb into the rivers. Non-point sources, especially road runoff and street dust, also contributed contamination from Pb and other metals.

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      Affiliations
      [1 ] School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 261Cheomdan-gwagiro, (Oryong-dong) Buk-gu, Gwangju, 500-712, Republic of Korea.
      Journal
      Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
      Environmental science and pollution research international
      Springer Nature America, Inc
      1614-7499
      0944-1344
      Jan 2014
      : 21
      : 1
      23807555 10.1007/s11356-013-1858-8

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