Environmental Implications of Chromium in Tannery Wastes in the Kelani Estuarine Water

 

P.K.M. WJEGOONAWARDANE, S.Y. NAMARATHNE, and W.D. RATNASOORIYA

Abstract

The Kelani estuarine water which receives effluent of two tanneries was examined for chromium at 21 longitudinal and cross sectional locations. The chromium concentration varied between 10.5-35.6 mg l-1 with a mean value of 25.9+4.18 mg l-1. The variation in the distribution was significant (p<0:05) both along the left bank and middle, and across the river.  A 40 fold enrichment of chromium was observed in the estuarine water of the study area. Even though the total chromium concentration of the estuary water was still below the maximum permissible limit for potable water, the physic-chemical conditions of the water favoured more toxic Cr6+ form to be the dominant Chromium species. Hence, this water may cause some adverse effects on aquatic biota. Such as structural changes in the estuary in relation to biodiversity, physiological changes in aquatic biota and toxicological effects to many sensitive species

 

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