The discharge of untreated solid and liquid wastes containing toxic heavy metals (Cr, Pd, Ni, Hg and As) from municipal and industrial activities has deteriorate the potential of Beressa River water mainly for irrigation purpose and affect the chemical property of soils and vegetables grown along the bank. Thus, this work was conducted to assess the concentrations of both essential nutrients (Ca, Mg, K, P, N, Mn, Fe, Cu and Zn) and heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Pd, Ni, Hg and As) in potato tubers and lettuce leaves produced along the bank of river using irrigation. Depending on their position and extent of water pollution, three different farms were identified and representative plant samples were collected from each farm for laboratory analysis. The vegetables from the non-irrigated farm were characterized by their lower contents of Ca, Mg, K, P, N, Mn, Fe, Zn and Cu. There was no detection of heavy metals in the potato tubers collected from farms 1 and 2, and except Cd, the lettuces of farm 3 had the highest concentration of toxic heavy metals. Apart from the lettuce leaves harvested from the irrigated farms, all the vegetables were safe for consumption and had a good essential nutrient content than the non-irrigated farm. Eventually, it is important to protect and mitigate the quality of the environment through creating awareness and conducting different studies of natural resources pollution remediation and controlling.
Key words: Potato, lettuce, nutrients, heavy metals, water pollution, Beressa River.
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