Assessment of Anions and Heavy Metals in Sediments from River Sio, Busia County, Kenya

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K. O. Ondoo
J. K. Kiptoo
A. O. Onditi
S. M. Shivaji
J. K. Ogilo


Agricultural activities, discharge of raw sewage into farms and the rise in urbanization have greatly contributed to soil pollution. During the rainy season, surface runoff from farms find their way into water bodies and deposits these contaminants into Rivers and Lakes which poses a threat to both aquatic and terrestrial organisms that depend on that water source. The objective of this research was to determine the level of anions and heavy metals from sediments in River Sio, Busia County, Kenya. Five sediment samples were taken from five sampling points and the levels of anions and heavy metals in them determined. Anions were determined using Shimadzu 1800 UV/visible spectrophotometer while heavy metals were determined using Shimadzu 6200 flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). Copper, lead and nickel were above the allowed WHO limits while cadmium was below detection limit. The levels of nitrates, phosphates and chlorides were higher during the wet season due to surface runoff that carried these nutrients from the farms and deposited them on the bottom of the River. The levels of heavy metals were high during the dry season due to evaporation of water from the River, leading to an increase in the analyte concentration during the dry season. High levels of copper and nickel in the sediments points to the use of herbicides and pesticides in farming and washing of vehicles and motorcycles on the banks of the River. According to Igeo nickel showed moderate pollution during the dry season. The contamination factor for lead was very high during the dry season, while pollution load index confirmed pollution due to anthropogenic activities in sampling sites 1 – 4 during the dry season and no pollution due to anthropogenic activities during the wet season.  The study recommends reduced use of inorganic fertilizers in order to save the River from the danger of eutrophication. Excessive use of agrochemicals such as herbicides and pesticides should be discouraged. In addition, pesticide leaching and the level of microbes in soil and sediments should be considered for further research

River Sio, heavy metals, sediments, anions, UV/visible spectrophotometer, atomic absorption spectrophotometer.

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How to Cite
Ondoo, K., Kiptoo, J., Onditi, A., Shivaji, S., & Ogilo, J. (2019). Assessment of Anions and Heavy Metals in Sediments from River Sio, Busia County, Kenya. Chemical Science International Journal, 27(2), 1-18.
Original Research Article


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