Journal of
Soil Science and Environmental Management

  • Abbreviation: J. Soil Sci. Environ. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2391
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSSEM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 311

Full Length Research Paper

Impact of Beressa river water quality on the chemical properties of soils along its bank

Haymanot Awgchew
  • Haymanot Awgchew
  • Department of Plant Science, College of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Debre Berhan University, P.O. Box: 445 Debre Berhan, Ethiopia
  • Google Scholar
Heluf Gebrekidan
  • Heluf Gebrekidan
  • Department of Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture, Haramaya University, P.O. Box: 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
  • Google Scholar
Adamu Molla
  • Adamu Molla
  • Crop research directorate, Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Centre, P.O. Box: 112, Debre Berhan, Ethiopia
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 01 January 2015
  •  Accepted: 17 February 2016
  •  Published: 30 April 2017


Beressa is a major perennial river in the North Shewa Zone of Amhara regional state and it takes the north-west ward to join the Jema River, which form the tributary of the Blue Nile around a place known as Sundo Meskel near the lower side of Abay Bereha. On its natural flow way, the River provides different uses that can be determined in terms of environmental, economical and social values. However, the River is facing an interruption on its potential service especially for irrigation due to its quality deterioration by the discharge of untreated wastes from different sectors in the town of Debre Berhan. Thus, this study was conducted to reveal the impact the river water quality on the chemical properties of the irrigated soils along the river bank. On the bases of their position and extent of water pollution, three different farms were identified and representative soil samples were collected from each for laboratory analysis. All the soils were clay loam in texture with the lowest amounts of pH (6.10), electrical conductivity (EC) (0.10 dS cm-1), organic matter (OM) (3.46%), total N (0.22%), C:N (9.12), available P (30.35 mg kg-1), cation exchange capacity (CEC) (23.75 cmol(+) kg-1), Na (0.11 cmol(+) kg-1), K (0.73 cmol(+) kg-1), Ca (8.25 cmol(+) kg-1), Mg (4.32 cmol(+) kg-1), Cu (1.19 mg kg-1), Zn (2.18 mg kg-1), Cr (1.15 mg kg-1) and Pb (1.11 mg kg-1) at farm 2 (never been irrigated from the River water), and had no detected Cd, Ni, As and Hg. Therefore, in addition to the difference in agronomic management practices, the River water had a direct connection with almost all presences of the concerned chemicals specifically in the soils of irrigated farms. Eventually, conducting pollution remediation studies is as such important in curing the current illness in the Beressa River water and in some instances in the soils under irrigation.


Key words: Water quality, heavy metals, micronutrients, soil chemical compositions.