Abstract Concentrations of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu ) were measured in water, Ceratophillyum demersum (C. demersum) aquatic plant, and the muscle, gill, liver, blood and kidney of Claries lazera fish (C. lazera) collected from nine sampling stations (districts), Beni Suef, Elfashn, Beba, Somosta, Ehnasia, Elwasta and Naser, along El Ebrahimia canal and two districts located at the east bank of the Nile (Bayed El-Arab and Sanor) in the province of Beni Suef, Egypt during 2009-2010 using Solar Atomic Absorption spectrometer M6.
The results reveal that the studied metals were detected in all the examined samples. In water, Pb had the highest concentration among the metals detected in Elfashn, Beba, Naser, Elwasta, Somosta, Bayed El-Arab and Sanor; Mn presented the highest concentration in Ehnasia, while Fe had the highest concentration in Beni Suef. The concentrations of Pb, Fe, and Mn were above the maximum permitted limits in all the districts. Cd concentration was above the permitted limit, except in Somosta and Naser, while Zn and Cu concentrations were below the permitted limits in the nine districts. The metal levels in water were compared with national and international water quality guidelines, and with the literature values reported for rivers and streams. Comparisons were made of the metal concentrations in water and aquatic plants with those in the catfish tissues obtained from water. The metal concentrations found in the C. demersum aquatic plant samples taken in the nine studied districts were distributed in this order; Mn > Zn > Cu >Pb >Fe > Cd. and were higher than the water. In fish, metals accumulated in the various examined tissues at several levels, but the metal concentrations in muscles (edible part) were below the metal levels in the other organs (nonedible) in the fish samples. The concentrations of Cd, Pb and Fe in fish tissues were above the international standard, while the concentrations of Mn, Zn and Cu were below this standard. The high concentrations of these metals in water, aquatic plants and fish in El Ebrahimia canal may be the result of both anthropogenic activities producing industrial, agricultural and domestic waste and accidental pollution incidents.