Assessment of the impact of industrial effluents on the quality of irrigation water and changes in soil characteristics: The case of Kombolcha town

Wollo University Dessie Ethiopia
Irrigation and Drainage (Impact Factor: 0.72). 12/2011; 60(5):644 - 653. DOI: 10.1002/ird.609

ABSTRACT The town of Kombolcha is found in the northern part of Ethiopia. It contains several large industries that drain their liquid waste to the nearby rivers. To assess the impact of the wastes on irrigation water quality, water samples were just taken randomly to be used only as indicators. The samples of water were collected three times from three rivers that are locally called the Leyole, Worka and Borkena. These rivers are used as sources of irrigation water for the nearby farmlands. Parameters of pH, EC, Ca(+2), Mg(+2), Na(+,) Cl(-), CO(3)=, HCO(3)(-), BO(3)(-3) and SAR were monitored in the irrigation water and the soils of the respective irrigated farmlands. Significant concentration differences (at P <= 0.05) in these parameters were detected in the two rivers receiving industrial effluents (Leyole and Worka) and they are compared against the control river water (Borkena). The mean values of the parameters in each irrigation water source samples were also compared with FAO guidelines for irrigation water quality. The Leyole and Worka are found to be polluted as compared to the control river (Borkena). Significant quality difference was observed in pH value and Na(+) concentrations between the Borkena River and effluent-contaminated irrigation water of the Leyole River. Moreover, Na(+), HCO(3)(-) and SAR were found to be beyond the safe limits to use in irrigation. Irrigation water from the Worka River was found to be significantly different from the control irrigation water in Na(+), Mg(+2) and SAR and the Na(+) concentration, and the values of pH and SAR have been identified to exceed the normal conditions for use in agriculture. The chemical parameters in the irrigation water were also found to have accumulated and changed the soil characteristics of the farmlands. Copyright (C) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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