Heavy metals in groundwater were analyzed and their sources and impacts were identified using multivariate statistical tools and risk assessment. Three significant factors were extracted by factor analysis (FA), explaining 75.69% of total variance. These factors were in turn described by the clusters C3, C2 and C1, respectively, resulting from the cluster analysis (CA). Factor analysis and cluster analysis revealed significant anthropogenic contributions and water-rock interaction effects of the metals in groundwater. The mean values of heavy metal evaluation index (HEI) and degree of contamination (Cdeg) indices indicated that the groundwater samples were contaminated with high degree of pollution by cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb). The hazard quotients (via ingestion) of Cd and Pb were found to be higher than the safe limits, posing threat to the consumers. However, no risk related to the dermal contact was associated with the measured metal levels.
Part of the book: Achievements and Challenges of Integrated River Basin Management