Assessment of Heavy Metals Contamination in Drinking Water of Garmian Region, Iraq


  • Hayder Mohammed Issa Department of Geography, College of Human Sciences, University of Garmian, Sulaymaniyah Province 46021, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
  • Azad Alshatteri Department of Chemistry, College of Education, University of Garmian, Sulaymaniyah Province 46021, Kurdistan Region, Iraq



drinking water quality,, heavy metals contamination,, environmental risk assessment, multivariate statistical analysis, Garmian region


Drinking water of safe quality is a critical issue for human survival and health. Water pollution by heavy metals is very crucial because of their toxicity. This study assesses potential of heavy metals pollution in drinking water in Garmian Region, East Iraq. Water samples were investigated for 23 heavy metals and 6 chemical contaminants collected from 16 locations. The analysis was performed by using coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICPOES, Spectro Arcos). High levels of Al, Se, Sr, and Fe have been detected at certain locations in study area. Statistical analysis techniques of the correlation matrix (CM), and cluster hierarchical analysis (CA) were conducted. The heavy metals pollution index (HPI), heavy metals evaluation index (HEI), and contamination Index (Cd) were used applied. These indices linked with the statistical analysis to interpret relationships among the tested parameters in water samples and to investigate the pollution sources over the study region. Even with the significant correlations between the HPI, Cd, and HEI, they showed dissimilar impact of examined heavy metals on the water quality. The most reliable pollution evaluation index of HEI for drinking water showed that 44% of the water samples is critically polluted. Sources of the contamination are most likely coming from natural geological sources. Anthropogenic impact was only noticed at several sites in the study area.