Phytoremediation Potential of Macrophytes of Urban Waterbodies in Central India

J Health Pollut. 2019 Nov 27;9(24):191206. doi: 10.5696/2156-9614-9.24.191206. eCollection 2019 Dec.


Background: India's rapidly increasing population and growing urbanization pose a great challenge for wastewater treatment efforts, leading to increased pollution of surrounding waterbodies.

Objectives: A field sampling-based study was conducted to analyze water quality, heavy metals and bioconcentration and bioaccumulation in the roots and shoots of naturally growing vegetation in an urban lake, Laxmi Taal. The lake receives domestic sewage from Jhansi city in Central India.

Methods: Temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, and water-soluble ions were measured with appropriate instruments. Plant accumulation of metals was measured with the bioconcentration factor (BCF), the ratio of metal concentration in the root to wastewater. The translocation factor (TF) was estimated as the ratio of metal concentration in the shoot to the root.

Results: Water quality and heavy metal concentrations were found to be within the prescribed limit as per Indian standards IS-2296 "D". In the present study, BCF was assessed to be >1 and the plants Typha angustifolia and Echhornia crassipus were determined to be accumulator plants. The TF study revealed that translocation of all the metals studied were significant, except for manganese (Mn), where concentration was found to be below detection limit.

Conclusions: The present study validated that Typha angustifolia and Echhornia crassipus could be used for bioremediation purposes in cases of urban waterbodies receiving varying amounts of domestic wastewaters which have relatively limited concentrations of toxic metals.

Competing interests: The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Keywords: bioaccumulation; domestic sewage pollution; natural vegetation; translocation of metals; urban lake.