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E-Journal of Chemistry
Volume 7, Issue 3, Pages 685-692

A Study of Physicochemical Parameters and Nine Heavy Metals in the Euphrates River, Iraq

Fikrat M. Hassan,1 Maysoon M. Saleh,2 and Jasim M. Salman2

1College of Science for Women, University of Baghdad, Iraq
2College of Science, University of Babylon, Iraq

Received 30 June 2009; Revised 20 October 2009; Accepted 15 December 2009

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study was conducted to reveal possible environmental effects on the Euphrates River from the Al-Hindiya barrage to the downstream end of Al-Kufa city in the middle of Iraq. Seven sites were selected along the study area and sampled during March 2004 to February 2005. We measured physical and chemical properties (air and water temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, TDS, TSS and dissolved oxygen) as well as, concentration and distribution of some heavy metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) in both dissolved and particulate phases, in the water and sediments (exchangeable and residual phases). The studied area was slightly alkaline, with very hard water and high BOD5. The nutrients showed clear seasonal fluctuations in their concentrations. It was shown that the concentrations of metals in the particulate phase were higher than those in dissolved phase in water. In sediments, the mean concentrations of heavy metals as exchangeable phase were less than in the residual phase.