Probability of Heavy Metals Mobility from Dumped Sediments in a Quarry


Karina T. García-Rangel
Francisco Gavi-Reyes
Rogelio Carrillo-González
Mario Martínez-Menes


metales traza, isotermas, Freundlich, Langmuir


Dregs from the former Texcoco Lake were used to build the new international Mexico City airport and pumped in a quarry. The dredged sediments could have heavy metals (HMs) capable of polluting water bodies. The study’s objective was to evaluate the content of Cu, Zn, Cd, Ni, and Pb of the sediments deposited in the quarry, their transfer to the runoff water and the adsorption of Cu, Zn, Ni, and Pb in the subsoil. Other variables measured were water infiltration rate, HM in sediments, water runoff, and the HM adsorption in the subsoil. The infiltration rate in sediments is low (≤ 10-7 cm/h). HMs in sediments are within the maximum permissible limits by Mexican regulations, for sewage sludge. The HMs in the runoff from the sediments are in the range of the Mexican regulations for the discharge into rivers and for irrigation purposes of agricultural soils. They are also within safe limits for irrigation use considered by FAO and EPA. The materials adsorption capacity of Pb (1250 mg kg-1), Zn (588 mg kg-1), and Cu (1250 mg kg-1) is higher than the concentration of metals in the runoff water, so the movement of HMs down into the subsoil is unlikely.


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