Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences
ISSN (Print): 2328-3912 ISSN (Online): 2328-3920 Website: Editor-in-chief: Alejandro González Medina
Open Access
Journal Browser
Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2020, 8(5), 244-253
DOI: 10.12691/aees-8-5-9
Open AccessArticle

Spatial Variations of Heavy Metal Content in the Surface Water of Yamuna River, India

Anita Singh1, Sudesh Chaudhary1, and Brijnandan S. Dehiya2, 3

1Centre of Excellence for Energy and Environmental Studies, Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology, Murthal, Haryana - 131039, India

2Department of Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology, Murthal, Haryana - 131039, India

3Department of Chemical Engineering, Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology, Murthal, Haryana - 131039, India

Pub. Date: July 06, 2020

Cite this paper:
Anita Singh, Sudesh Chaudhary and Brijnandan S. Dehiya. Spatial Variations of Heavy Metal Content in the Surface Water of Yamuna River, India. Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2020; 8(5):244-253. doi: 10.12691/aees-8-5-9


Fast-growing urbanization, industrialization, and encroachment of the river banks have increased the pollution load in the rivers. The concentrations of heavy metals like Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Lead (Pb), Magnesium (Mn), Nickel (Ni) and Zinc (Zn) in the waters of river Yamuna were studied. Sampling was done at 41 sites from upstream in the mountainous region to confluence point with River Ganga near the city of Prayagraj. It was found that the samples from the upstream sites in the mountainous region (falling in the state of Himachal Pradesh) were less polluted than those of Delhi stretch of the river suggesting huge influence of the anthropogenic activities along the Delhi stretch of the river. Fe, Pb, Ni, Cu, Cd and Mn concentration surpassed the prescribed maximum permissible limits for drinking water all along the river, while Cr, and Zn concentration remained within the permissible limit throughout. The peak concentration of Fe, Ni, Mn and Cd were recorded along Delhi stretch and downstream from Delhi suggesting contributions from the industrial effluents of various industries such as nut-bolt industry, electroplating, and Galvanizing and cycle industries in the region. The status of various heavy metals in the water of the Yamuna River has been discussed in the present study with respect to the heavy metal pollution index (HPI). HPI for Yamuna water was found highest along the Delhi-stretch. The mean concentrations of heavy metals in sampled water of Yamuna followed the order as stated here Fe>Zn>Cu>Ni>Mn>Pb>Cr>Cd in water.

Heavy Yamuna River heavy metals water contamination HPI

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Elzwayie, A., Afan, H. A., Allawi, M. A., El-Shafie, A, “Heavy metal monitoring, analysis and prediction in lakes and rivers: state of the art”, Environ Sci Pollut Res, 2017.
[2]  CPCB, Water Quality Status of Yamuna River (1999-2005). Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Assessment and Development of River Basin Series: ADSORBS/41/2006-07. 2006.
[3]  Kaushik, A., Kansal, A., Meena, S., Kumari, S., Kaushik, C. P, “Heavy metal contamination of river Yamuna, Haryana, India: assessment by metal enrichment factor of the sediments”, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 164:265-270. 2009.
[4]  Sehgal, M., Garg, A., Suresh, R., Dagar, P, “Heavy metal contamination in the Delhi segment of Yamuna basin”, Environ. Monit. Assess. 184(2): 1181-1196, 2012.
[5]  Kaur, R, Regional resource characterization through remote sensing & GIS for effective decision making-A Case Study of NCR. A note prepared for an Indo-US workshop on Innovative E-technologies for Distance Education, Extension/Outreach in Efficient Water Management, ICRISAT, Patancheru, AP, India. March 2007.
[6]  Kaur, S., Mehra, P, “Assessment of heavy metals in summer and winter seasons in River Yamuna segment flowing through Delhi, India”, Journal of Environment and Ecology, 2012.
[7]  Pal, R., Dubey, R. K., Dubey, S. K., Singh, A., Sharma, T. C, “Assessment of heavy metal pollution of Yamuna water in Mathura region through index analysis approach”, Int. J. of Chemical Studies. 5(6). 1286-1289. 2017.
[8]  Chaudhary, S., Banerjee, D. K., Kumar, N., Yadav, S, “Assessment of bioavailable metals in sediments of Yamuna flood plain using two different extraction procedures”, Sustainable Environment Research 26(1). 28-32. 2016.
[9]  Furhan, I., Ali, M., Abdus, S., Khan, B. A., Ahmad, S., Qamar, M., et al., “Seasonal variation of Physico- Chemical characteristics of river Soan water at Dhoak Pathan (Chakwal), Pakistan”, International Journal of Agriculture and Biology. 6(1). 89-92. 2004.
[10]  Gholami, S., Srikantaswamy, S, “Analysis of agricultural impact on the Cauvery River water around KRS dam”, World Applied Sciences Journal. 6(8). 1157-1169. 2009.
[11]  APHA, Standard Methods for examination of water and wastewater, 22nd edn. American Public Health Association, Washington, USA. 2012.
[12]  Siddiqui, E. and Pandey, J, “Assessment of heavy metal pollution in water and surface sediment and evaluation of ecological risks associated with sediment contamination in the Ganga River: a basin-scale study”, Environmental Science and Pollution research, 26. 10926-10940. 2019.
[13]  Bhardwaj, R., Gupta, A., Garg, J. K, “Evaluation of heavy metal contamination using environmetrics and Indexing approach for river Yamuna, Delhi stretch, India”, Water Science journal, 2017.
[14]  Yeh, G., Hoang, H., Lin, C., et al., “Assessment of heavy metal contamination and adverse biological effects of an industrially affected river”, Environ Sci Pollu Res. 2020.
[15]  Bureau of Indian Standards, BIS: Indian standard drinking water specification (2nd rev) 2012.
[16]  Singh, A.L, “Toxicity of heavy metals in the water of Ganga river at Varanasi, India: Environmental implication”, Pollution Research 30(2). 217-220. 2011.
[17]  Chaudhary, S., Banerjee, D. K, “Metal phase association of chromium in contaminated soils from an industrial area in Delhi”, Chemical speciation and Bioavailability 16(4). 2004.
[18]  World Health Organization (WHO): Guidelines for drinking-water quality. 3rd EDn.,. 1st Addendum to 1. WHO press, 2006.
[19]  Sundaray, S.K., et al.,” Dynamics and quantification of dissolved heavy metals in the Mahanadi River estuarine system, India”, Environmental Monitoring and assessment 184(2). 1157-79. 2011.
[20]  Bhuyan, M., S., Bakar, M. A, “Seasonal variation of heavy metals in water and sediments in the Halda River, Chittagong, Bangladesh”, Environ Sci Pollut Res. 2017.
[21]  Gallo, M., et al., “Dissolved and particulate heavy metals in the salado River (santa fe, Argentina)”, Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. 2006.
[22]  Jia, Y., Wang, L., Qu, Z., et al., “Distribution, contamination and accumulation of heavy metals in water, sediments, and freshwater shellfish from Liuyang River, Southern China”, Environ Sci Pollut Res. 2018.
[23]  Bi, B., Liu, X., Guo, X. et al., “Occurrence and risk assessment of heavy metals in water, sediment, and fish from Dongting Lake, China”, Environ Sci Pollut Res. 2018.
[24]  Pandey, J., Singh, A.V., Singh, A., Singh, R,“Impact of changing atmospheric deposition chemistry on nitrogen and phosphorous loading to Ganga River”, Bull Environ Contam Toxico l91. 184-190. 2013.
[25]  Olayebi, O. O, Adebayo, A. T, “Removal of heavy metals from petroleum refinery effluents using coconut shell-based activated carbon”, Int. J. of Engg. and emerging Scientific Discovery, 2(2). 2536-7269. 2017.
[26]  Dixit, R., et al., “Bioremediation of Heavy Metals from Soil and Aquatic Environment: An Overview of Principles and Criteria of Fundamental Processes”, Sustainability. 2015.
[27]  Verma, C., Madan, S., Hussain, “Heavy metal contamination of groundwater due to fly ash disposal of coal-fired thermal power plant, Parichha, Jhansi, India”, Cogent Engineering, 2016.
[28]  Akbulut, N.E., Tuncer, A.M,“Accumulation of heavy metals with water quality parameters in Kızılırmak River Basin (Delice River) in Turkey”, Environ Monit Assess. 2011.
[29]  Aktar, M.W., Paramasivam, M., Ganguly, M., Purkait, S., Sengupta, D, “Assessment and occurrence of various heavy metals in surface waterof Ganga river around Kolkata: a study for toxicity and ecological impact”, Environ. Monit. Assess. 160 (1-4). 207-213. 2010.
[30]  Jain, C. K., Sharma, M. K,“Heavy Metal Transport in the Hindon River Basin, India”, Environ Monit Assess. 2006.
[31]  Varol, M., Gökot, B., and Bekleyen, A,“Dissolved heavy metals in the Tigris River (Turkey): spatial and temporal variations”, Environ Sci Pollut Res 20. 6096-6108. 2013.
[32]  Islam, Md. S., et al., “Heavy metal pollution in surface water and sediment: A preliminary assessment of an urban river in a developing country”, Ecological Indicators 48. 282-291. 2015.
[33]  Mohan, S. V., Nithila, P., Reddy, S. J, “Estimation of heavy metal in drinking water and development of heavy metal pollution index”, Journal of Environmental Science Health 31. 283-289. 1996.
[34]  WHO, Guidelines for drinking water quality. Vol 1. 3 edition. ISBN 9241546387. 2004.
[35]  Milivojević, J., Krstić, D., Šmit, B., Djekić, V, “Assessment of Heavy Metal contamination and Calculation of Its Pollution Index for Uglješnica River, Serbia”, Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 97. 737-742. 2016.
[36]  Bakan, G. H., BokeOzkoc, H., Tulek, S., and Cuce, H, “Integrated Environmental Quality Assessment of Kizihrmak River and its Coastal Environment. Turkish journal of Fisheries and aquatic Sciences”, 10. 453-462. 2010.
[37]  Tamasi, G., Cini, R, “Heavy metals in drinking waters from Mount Amiata ( Tuscany, Italy). Science of total Environment”, 327. 41-51. 2004.
[38]  An Q, Wu Y, Wang J, Li Z, “Assessment of dissolved heavy metal in the Yangtze River estuary and its adjacent sea, China”, Environ Monit Assess164. 173-187. 2009.
[39]  Mao G, Zhao Y, Zhang F et al., “Spatiotemporal variability of heavy metals and identification of potential source tracers in the surface water of the Lhasa River basin”, Environ Sci Pollut Res 26. 7442-7452. 2019.
[40]  Patil PR, Shrivastava VS, “Metallic status of river Godavari—a statistical approach”. Indian J. Environ. Prot. 23 (6). 650-653. 2003.
[41]  Jameel AA, “A study on the distribution of organic matter and toxic metals in sediments of river Cauvery at Tiruchirapalli”, Indian J. Environ.Prot. 21 (4). 302-304. 2001.
[42]  Sundaray S K, Panda U C, Nayak B B, Bhatta D, ”Multivariate statistical techniques for the evaluation of spatial and temporal variation in water quality of Mahanadi river-estuarine system (India) A case study”. Environ. Geochem. Health 28 (4). 317-330. 2006.