Analysis of Physicochemical Parameters in Wastewater and Heavy Metals in Soils of Flower Farms in Ethiopia

Abstract Floriculture is a young and fast-growing industry in Ethiopia. The sector has created employment opportunity and contributed to our country’s economic development. But it is blamed for causing environmental pollution. Therefore, the aim of this study is to determine the concentration of pollutants in wastewater and soils of flower farms located in Ethiopia which were selected using purposive sampling. Wastewater and soil samples required for the determination of physico-chemical parameters and heavy metal concentrations were collected from the flower farms from April 1 to May 25, 2019. Physicochemical parameters including pH, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids, phosphate, sulfate and chemical oxygen demand in wastewater, and concentrations of lead, cobalt, and zinc in soil were determined. Accordingly, the pH values of the four flower farms (Farm 1, Farm 2, Farm 4 and Farm 5) were slightly acidic and below minimum pH value (6) allowed for wastewater effluent set by Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority. Electrical conductivity at all farms, total dissolved solid at Farm 4, chemical oxygen demand at Farm 3, and 4, sulphate at Farm 4, and phosphate at Farm 2 and 4 were above the provisional standard set by EPA. This study revealed that wastewater sample collected from Farm 4 doesn’t comply with EPA standard in all study parameters. While, the mean concentrations of cobalt and zinc of soil samples varied from 2.8 to 46.6 mg/kg and 54.4 to 111.1 mg/kg, respectively. Conclusively, the wastewater quality discharged from flower farms is not at a level it cannot cause harmful effect. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that wastewater is properly treated before discharged into the environment. Also, the authors recommend that further holistic investigation should be carried out on socio-economic and soil pollution of the floriculture industry in Ethiopia.

Keywords— Floriculture, Heavy metal, Physicochemical, Soil, Wastewater.

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International Journal of Environmental and Agriculture Research (IJOEAR)

ISSN: 2454-1850

Digital Object Identifier DOI: 10.25125/agriculture-journal

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