Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2759

Full Length Research Paper

Accumulation of heavy metals on soil and vegetable crops grown on sewage and tube well water irrigation

Ashiq Hussain Lone1, Eugenia P. Lal1, Sasya Thakur1, S. A. Ganie2*, Mohammad Saleem Wani3, Ani Khare3, Sajad Hussain Wani3 and Fayaz Ahmad Wani3
1Department of Biological Sciences, Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences Allahabad, India. 2Division of Plant Pathology, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shalimar, Srinagar - 191121, India. 3Department of Botany, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 October 2013
  •  Published: 25 November 2013


Consumption of food crops contaminated with heavy metals is a major food chain route for human exposure. In the present study, vegetables grown in the sewage and tube well water irrigation are Raphanus sativus, Daucus carrota and Brassica rapa. Concentration of Cd, Pb and Ni was significantly higher in sewage irrigated soil at all the four depths (0-15, 15-30, 30-45 and 45-60 cm), respectively. Cadmium, Lead and Nickel concentration are higher at the surface horizons and it decreases sharply with depth in both tube well and sewage irrigated soils. Extent of heavy metal built up in sewage irrigated soils was significant in both 0-15 and 15-30 cm depth. Higher concentration of Pb, Cd and Ni, were observed in the roots of all crops grown in sewage irrigated soils compared to that of crops grown on tube well irrigated soils. Sewage water irrigation has a great potential to contaminate the soil which may lead to the accumulation of heavy metals in crop plants and may cause harmful effect on animals and plants. Results, indicate that, long term and indiscriminate application of sewage water, which contains heavy metals may cause accumulation of heavy metals in surface and sub-surface soils and the buildup of heavy metals on soil profile may prove harmful not only to plants, but also to consumers of the harvested crops.

Key words: Crops, heavy metals, water, sewage, tube well.