Assessing Risk and Sources of Heavy Metals in a Tropical River Basin: A Case Study of the Selangor River, Malaysia
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Civil Engineering Deptartment, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Department of Civil Engineering, World University of Bangladesh, , Dhaka 1205, Bangladesh
Faridah Othman   

University of Malaya, Civil Engineering Dept., Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Online publish date: 2018-02-21
Publish date: 2018-03-30
Submission date: 2017-05-19
Final revision date: 2017-08-06
Acceptance date: 2017-08-06
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2018;27(4):1659–1671
Heavy metal concentration has become a major concern for water quality in rivers. Rapid urbanization and industrialization contribute to heavy metal concentrations in river water. This study aims to investigate the distribution, source, and environmental risk of heavy metals in the Selangor River basin in Malaysia. A total of 132 water samples were collected from 11 sampling stations on a monthly basis over a one-year period. Thirteen heavy metals were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). In order to identify the sources of heavy metals along the river basin, multivariate statistical techniques like principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) were performed. It was found that As, Mn, and Fe exceeded the admissible limits of the Malaysian National Standard Water Quality (NSDWQ) at several of the sampling stations. Heavy metal pollution index (HPI) was below the critical pollution index value of 100. Statistical analyses showed that potential sources of heavy metals are land-based, thereby implying that former tin mining and industries in the surrounding area are the most likely sources. Anthropogenic metal concentrations were found to be low in the Selangor River, indicating that it has yet to be burdened by pollution of heavy metals.