Impact of discharged wastewater final effluent on the physicochemical qualities of a receiving watershed in a suburban community of the eastern Cape Province
Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group (AEMREG), University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
Failures of sewage treatment systems, both within and outside South Africa, are most commonly ascribed to inadequate facilities and other factors resulting in the production of poor quality effluents with attendant negative consequences on the receiving watershed. The impact of the final effluent of a wastewater treatment facility in a suburban community of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa on the physicochemical qualities of the receiving watershed was assessed between August 2007 and July 2008. Water quality parameters were analyzed according to the South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry standards. The effluent quality was acceptable with respect to the pH (6.9-7.8), temperature (13.8-22.0°C), dissolved oxygen (DO) (4.9-7.8 mg/L), salinity (0.12-0.17 psu), total dissolved solids (TDS) (119-162 mg/L) and nitrite concentration (0.1-0.4 mg/L). The other physicochemical parameters that did not comply with regulated standards include the following: phosphate (0.1-4.0 mg/L), chemical oxygen demand (COD) (5-211 mg/L), electrical conductivity (EC) (237-325 μS/cm), and turbidity (7.7-62.7 NTU). The results suggest that eutrophication is intensified in the vicinity of the effluent discharge points, where phosphate and nitrate were found in high concentrations. The discharged final effluents had detrimental effects on the receiving body of water, thus suggesting the need for regular and consistent intervention by appropriate monitoring and compliance agencies to ensure adherence to acceptable standards for discharged effluents. © 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
discharge; dissolved oxygen; effluent; nitrite; pH; physicochemical property; salinity; sewage treatment; suburban area; waste treatment; wastewater; water quality; water treatment; watershed; Eastern Cape; South Africa