Pollution level and risk assessment of heavy metals in sewage sludge from eight wastewater treatment plants in Wuhu City, China
Aim of study: To investigate the content, contamination levels and potential sources of five heavy metals (Hg, Pb, Cd, Cr, As) in sewage sludge from eight wastewater treatment plants (W1 to W8).
Area of study: Wuhu, located in southeastern Anhui Province, southeastern China.
Material and methods: The sewage sludge pollution assessment employed the single-factor pollution index, Nemerow’s synthetic pollution index, monomial potential ecological risk coefficient and potential ecological risk index. The potential sources among the five heavy metals were determined using the Pearson’s correlation analysis and principal component analysis (PCA).
Main results: The mean concentrations of the heavy metals were 0.27 mg/kg (Hg), 70.78 mg/kg (Pb), 3.48 mg/kg (Cd), 143.65 mg/kg (Cr) and 22.17 mg/kg (As). W1, W5 and W6 sewage sludge samples showed the highest levels of heavy metal contamination, and cadmium had the highest contamination level in the study area. Pearson’s correlation analysis and PCA revealed that Pb and Cd mainly derived from traffic emissions and the manufacturing industry and that As and Cr originated from agricultural discharges.
Research highlights: The pollution of cadmium in Wuhu should be controlled preferentially. The heavy metal pollution of W1, W5 and W6 sewage treatment plants is relatively high, they should be key prevention targets.
Abrahim GM, Parker RJ, 2008. Assessment of heavy metal enrichment factors and the degree of contamination in marine sediments from Tamaki Estuary, Auckland, New Zealand. Environ Monit Assess 1-3 (136): 227-238. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-007-9678-2
Al-Khashman OA, 2013. Assessment of heavy metals contamination in deposited street dusts in different urbanized areas in the city of Ma'an, Jordan. Environ Earth Sci 70 (6): 2603-2612. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-013-2310-6
Birch GF, 2017. Determination of sediment metal background concentrations and enrichment in marine environments - A critical review. Sci Total Environ 580: 813-831. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.12.028
Dong B, Liu X, Dai L, Dai X, 2013. Changes of heavy metal speciation during high-solid anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge. Bioresour Technol 131: 152-158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2012.12.112
Dou Y, Li J, Zhao J, Hu B, Yang S, 2013. Distribution, enrichment and source of heavy metals in surface sediments of the eastern Beibu Bay, South China Sea. Mar Pollut Bull 67 (1): 137-145. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.11.022
Duan B, Zhang W, Zheng H, Wu C, Zhang Q, Bu Y, 2017. Disposal situation of sewage sludge from municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and assessment of the ecological risk of heavy metals for its land use in Shanxi, China. Int J Environ Res Public Health 14 (7): E823. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070823
Duan J, Tan J, 2013. Atmospheric heavy metals and arsenic in China: Situation, sources and control policies. Atmos Environ 74: 93-101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.03.031
Feng C, Liu H, Wang X, 2009. Content and evaluation of harmful elements in main fertilizer products in China. Soil Fertil Sci in China 4: 44-47.
Grotto D, Batista BL, Souza JMO, Carneiro MFH, Dos Santos D, Melo WJ, Barbosa F, 2015. Essential and nonessential element translocation in corn cultivated under sewage sludge application and associated health risk. Water Air Soil Poll 226 (8): 261-270. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-015-2527-y
Hakanson L, 1980. An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control.a sedimentological approach. Water Res 14 (8): 975-1001. https://doi.org/10.1016/0043-1354(80)90143-8
He Q, Ji F, Li J, 2016. Sludge treatment and disposal and resource utilization methods and new technologies. Water Sew Eng 52 (2): 1-3.
Kabata-Pendias A, Mukherjee AB, 2007. Trace elements from soil to human. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-32714-1
Kendir E, Kentel E, Sanin D, 2014. Evaluation of heavy metals and associated health risks in a metropolitan wastewater treatment plant's sludge for its land application. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 21 (6): 1631-1643. https://doi.org/10.1080/10807039.2014.966590
Kowalska J, Mazurek R, Gasiorek M, Setlak M, Zaleski T, Waroszewski J, 2016. Soil pollution indices conditioned by medieval metallurgical activity - A case study from Krakow (Poland). Environ Pollut 218: 1023-1036. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2016.08.053
Lacerda LD, de Souza M, Ribeiro MG, 2004. The effects of land use change on mercury distribution in soils of Alta Floresta, Southern Amazon. Environ Pollut 129 (2): 247-255. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2003.10.013
Li HY, Hu XD, Wu QH, Wu ZY, Huang XX, Zhang FG, Leung YS, Fu J, Huang ZY, Xiong FK, et al., 2015. Heavy metal concentration, emission flux and potential ecological risk assessment for agriculture in Guangzhou. Chin J Environ Eng 9 (3): 1409-1416.
Li X, Liu L, Wang Y, Luo G, Chen X, Yang X, Hall MHP, Guo R, Wang H, Cui J, et al., 2013. Heavy metal contamination of urban soil in an old industrial city (Shenyang) in Northeast China. Geoderma 192: 50-58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2012.08.011
Lin YP, Teng TP, Chang TK, 2002. Multivariate analysis of soil heavy metal pollution and landscape pattern in Changhua county in Taiwan. Landscape Urban Plan 62 (1): 19-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0169-2046(02)00094-4
Lister SK, Line MA, 2001. Potential utilisation of sewage sludge and paper mill waste for biosorption of metals from polluted waterways. Bioresour Technol 79 (1): 35-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0960-8524(01)00035-9
Liu J, Zhuo Z, Sun S, 2015. Concentrations of heavy metals in six municipal sludges from Guangzhou and their potential ecological risk assessment for agricultural land use. Pol J Environ Stud 24 (1): 165-174. https://doi.org/10.15244/pjoes/28348
Lu X, Wang L, Li LY, Lei K, Huang L, Kang D, 2010. Multivariate statistical analysis of heavy metals in street dust of Baoji, NW China. J Hazard Mater 173 (1-3): 744-749. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.09.001
Mico C, Recatala L, Peris M, Sanchez J, 2006. Assessing heavy metal sources in agricultural soils of an European Mediterranean area by multivariate analysis. Chemosphere 65 (5): 863-872. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.03.016
Mirzaei Aminiyan M, Baalousha M, Mousavi R, Mirzaei Aminiyan F, Hosseini H, Heydariyan A, 2018. The ecological risk, source identification, and pollution assessment of heavy metals in road dust: a case study in Rafsanjan, SE Iran. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 25 (14): 13382-13395. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-8539-y
Müller G, 1969. Index of geoaccumulation in sediments of the Rhine River. Geo J 2 (3): 109-118.
Ministry of Ecology and Environment, 1995. GB15618-1995: environmental quality standard for soil. Beijing, PRC.
Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, 2009. CJT 309-2009: Disposal of sludge from municipal wastewater treatment plant - Control standards for agricultural use (Class A). Beijing, PRC.
Shafie NA, Aris AZ, Zakaria MP, Haris H, Lim WY, Isa NM, 2013. Application of geoaccumulation index and enrichment factors on the assessment of heavy metal pollution in the sediments. J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng 48 (2): 182-190. https://doi.org/10.1080/10934529.2012.717810
Sharma RK, Agrawal M, Marshall FM, 2008. Atmospheric deposition of heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) in Varanasi City, India. Environ Monit Assess 1-3 (142): 269-278. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-007-9924-7
Singh RP, Agrawal M, 2008. Potential benefits and risks of land application of sewage sludge. Waste Manag 28 (2): 347-358. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2006.12.010
Suresh G, Ramasamy V, Meenakshisundaram V, Venkatachalapathy R, Ponnusamy V, 2011. Influence of mineralogical and heavy metal composition on natural radionuclide concentrations in the river sediments. Appl Radiat Isot 69 (10): 1466-1474. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2011.05.020
Tomlinson DL, Wilson JG, Harris CR, Jeffrey DW, 1980. Problems in the assessment of heavy-metal levels in estuaries and the formation of a pollution index. Helgol Meeresunters 33 (1): 566-575. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02414780
USEPA, 1996. Method 3050B: Acid digestion of sediments, sludges and soils, revision 2. Washington, DC.
Wei B, Jiang F, Li X, Mu S, 2009. Spatial distribution and contamination assessment of heavy metals in urban road dusts from Urumqi, NW China. Microchem J 93 (2): 147-152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.microc.2009.06.001
Xu Z, Li J, Pan Y, Chai X, 2016. Human health risk assessment of heavy metals in a replaced urban industrial area of Qingdao, China. Environ Monit Assess 188 (4): 229-240. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-016-5224-4
Yang J, Lei M, Chen T, Gao D, Zheng G, Guo G, Lee D, 2014. Current status and developing trends of the contents of heavy metals in sewage sludges in China. Front Env Sci Eng 8 (5): 719-728. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-013-0600-6
Yang Y, Jin Q, Fang J, Liu F, Li A, Tandon P, Shan A, 2017. Spatial distribution, ecological risk assessment, and potential sources of heavy metal(loid)s in surface sediments from the Huai River within the Bengbu section, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 24 (12): 11360-11370. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-8732-z
Yongming H, Peixuan D, Junji C, Posmentier ES, 2006. Multivariate analysis of heavy metal contamination in urban dusts of Xi'an, Central China. Sci Total Environ 1-3 (355): 176-186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.02.026
Zhang M, Zheng S, 2007. Competitive adsorption of Cd, Cu, Hg and Pb by agricultural soils of the Changjiang and Zhujiang deltas in China. J Zhejiang Univ Sci A 8 (11): 1808-1815. https://doi.org/10.1631/jzus.2007.A1808
Zhang J, Deng H, Wang D, Chen Z, Xu S, 2013. Toxic heavy metal contamination and risk assessment of street dust in small towns of Shanghai suburban area, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 20 (1): 323-332. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-012-0908-y
Zhao L, Xu Y, Hou H, Shangguan Y, Li F, 2014. Source identification and health risk assessment of metals in urban soils around the Tanggu chemical industrial district, Tianjin, China. Sci Total Environ 468-469: 654-662. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.08.094
Zhao L, Liang Y, Chen Q, Xu Q, Jing H, 2019. Spatial distribution, contamination assessment, and sources of heavy metals in urban green space soil of central six districts of Beijing. Environ Sci 5: E1-13.
Zhu D, Wu S, Han J, Wang L, Qi M, 2018. Evaluation of nutrients and heavy metals in the sediments of the Heer River, Shenzhen, China. Environ Monit Assess 190 (7): 380-389. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-018-6740-1
© INIA. Manuscripts published are the property of the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, and quoting this source is a requirement for any partial or full reproduction.
SJAR is an Open Access Journal. All articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License. You may read here the basic information and the legal text of the license. The indication of the license CC-by must be expressly stated in this way when necessary.