African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 1070

Full Length Research Paper

Trace metal contamination of groundwater and human health risk in Katuba and Kenya municipalities of Lubumbashi city, Southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Bamba Bukengu Muhaya
  • Bamba Bukengu Muhaya
  • Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Lubumbashi, P. O. Box 1825, Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Google Scholar
Benjamin Busomoke Badarhi
  • Benjamin Busomoke Badarhi
  • Department of Zootechnics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Lubumbashi, P. O. Box 1825, Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 16 December 2021
  •  Accepted: 08 February 2022
  •  Published: 31 March 2022

Abstract

Trace metal contamination of groundwater was assessed in Katuba and Kenya municipalities of Lubumbashi city in 2016 and 2017 to determine whether water was suitable or unsuitable for human consumption. Two hundred and four groundwater samples collected from twenty spade-sunk and four drilled wells in both municipalities were analyzed for their trace metal contents using a sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry Thermo Element II. Nineteen trace elements including strontium, molybdenum, cadmium, cesium, barium, tungsten, thallium, lead, bismuth, uranium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc and arsenic were recorded at varying concentrations in all samples. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, nickel and copper levels of groundwater exceeded the World Health Organization acceptable limits for drinking water, respectively in 14.44, 8.89, 6.67, 0 and 0%, of samples from Katuba and in 0, 16.67, 25, 16.67 and 16.67% of samples from Kenya municipality. In Katuba, 55.56% of the groundwater samples were acidic (pH 4.7-6.4) in dry season and 61.11% were very alkaline (pH 8.6-11.2) in rainy season. In Kenya municipality, 33.33% of the samples were acidic (pH 5.5-6.2) in rainy season. With such physicochemical and trace metal contamination status of the groundwater in both municipalities, water of many wells is unsuitable for human consumption and presents a health risk to people who use it to meet their drinking water needs.

 

Key words: Groundwater, pH, trace metals, Lubumbashi city.