Accurate quantification of heavy metals is essential for optimizing remedial efforts at polluted waterfronts. Although surface water quality models can be helpful tools for rapid quantification of heavy metals in streams, they cannot be extrapolated to other water bodies. This study estimated Mg, Cd, and Ni levels in one of the polluted urban waterfronts in the Niger Delta Province, Nigeria (5.317°N, 6.467°E) using one-dimensional transport model. To do this, water samples were collected along the waterfront in both dry and rainy seasons and analyzed for the selected heavy metals using a SHIMADZU® AA6800 Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer according to international standards. Model parameters were determined by simple linear regression using the experimental dataset. Results showed that the average concentrations of Mg (5.964 mg/L), Cd (0.088 mg/L), and Ni (0.071 mg/L) in the waterfront in both dry and rainy seasons exceeded both local and international regulatory values. The seasonal variation of the heavy metals in the waterfront showed that the concentrations of Mg and Cd were higher during the dry season. Model validation of experimental data showed reasonable prediction precision with root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.0016-0.2254 mg/L in the dry season, RMSE of 0.0026-0.3259 mg/L in the rainy season, and corresponding average validation r2 of 0.985 in both seasons. These results suggest that the waterfront is laden with heavy metals and the one-dimensional transport model is a useful tool to rapidly estimate the levels of Mg, Cd, and Ni in the waterfront for pollution control.
Key words: Environmental monitoring, heavy metals, water pollution, water quality modelling.
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