Occurrence and fate of Trace Metals In and Around Treatment and Disposal Facilities in Limpopo Province, South Africa: A Case Study of Two Areas

J.S. Ogala, L. Chimuka, and D. Maina (S. Africa)


Waste management, Wastewater, Treatment facilities, Trace metals


An assessment of occurrence and fate of Cu, Zn, Cr, Mn and Pb was carried out at the treatment facilities and disposal sites in Siloam-Makhado area in South Africa. Samples were collected from the Makhado and Siloam municipality solid waste dumping sites, sludge and wastewater from the biological wastewater treatment plant. The AAS analysis of solid wastes at Makhado and Siloam waste dumps indicated mean concentrations (mg·kg-1) of Mn (470.69) > Zn (368.22) > Pb (117.76) >Cu (59.22) > Cr (21.74); and Mn (540.20) > Zn (406.28) > Pb (167.35) > Cu (82.43) > Cr (29.41) respectively. The mean metal concentrations (µg·ℓ-1) in the Makhado and Siloam wastewater samples were found to be: Mn (112.87) > Zn (101.13) > Cu (59.23) > Pb (37.84); and Zn (152.00) > Zn (105.60) > Cu (71.80) > Pb (41.20) respectively. The concentrations of metals from the sediments around the evaporation pond and the incinerator plant decreased with the increase in distance. This suggested that the metals were leaking out through the pond wall and also as volatile particulates. There is need to develop a waste management strategy in the area that would incorporate on-site sorting of waste and proper maintenance practice.

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