Monitoring of Heavy Metals Levels in Surface and Drinking Water in Some Egyptian Governorates
The concentrations of heavy metals i.e Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb and Zn were measured in 72 surface and drinking water
samples collected bimonthly before and after six drinking water treatment plants in three Egyptian governorates (i.e.,
El-Kalyoubia, Kafr El-Sheikh and Alexandria) from May 2011 to March 2012. The water samples were analysed for
elemental contaminants using Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS). The results indicated that Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb and Zn were
detected in all surface water samples and found in the range of 0.05–18.35, 0.11–13.91, 1.51–59.12, 0.06-2.4 and 0.17-23.11
μg/l, respectively whereas they were detected in 100, 80.5, 100, 91.6 and 100% of drinking water samples in the range of
0.02–10.59, 0.04–9.32, 1.98–45.31, 0.02-3.01 and 0.08-18.11 μg/l, respectively. Overall seasonal variation was observed for
Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn, since they exhibited their maximum mean concentration during the winter season. On the contrary, no
spatial trend was found. The concentrations of the elements were generally far below the maximum allowable concentration
(MAC).However, 19.44 and 36.11% of surface and drinking water samples were contaminated with Cd at concentrations
above the MAC, respectively. The pollution is mainly due to the discharge of untreated industrial effluents as well as
wastewater discharges from residences and agricultural activities. It can be concluded that, there is an urgent need to
determine the level of pollution of the water bodies on regular basis, since the inhabitants depend on them for their drinking
water, fishing and other domestic uses.
Index Terms - Heavy Metals, Surface Water, Drinking Water, Water Treatment Plants.