THE IMPACT OF ZIMPHOS INDUSTRIAL EFFLUENT ON WATER QUALITY. A CASE STUDY OF MUKUVISI RIVER USING AQUATIC MICROFLORA AS BIOINDICATORS.

THE IMPACT OF ZIMPHOS INDUSTRIAL EFFLUENT ON WATER QUALITY. A CASE STUDY OF MUKUVISI RIVER USING AQUATIC MICROFLORA AS BIOINDICATORS.

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ABSTRACT

The impact of ZimPhos industrial effluent on the water quality of Mukuvisi River using aquatic microflora indicators was investigated from January to April 2015. Physico-chemical parameters like temperature, pH, BOD, DO, turbidity, conductivity, PO4 and NO3 used to infer on the water quality were measured at the four sites. IBM SPSS Statistics Version 21 and MS Excel were used to analyse data. The ANOVA tests showed statistically significant mean differences for temperature (p=0.00), conductivity (p=0.00), turbidity (p=0.00), BOD (p=0.03) and DO (p=0.00). The ANOVA mean differences for pH (p=0.13), NO3 (p=0.42) and PO4 (p=0.23) were not statistically significant at 0.05 significance level. The correlation analysis tests showed a strong positive relationship between temperature and turbidity (R=0.99).There was a negative correlation shown between pH and turbidity(R=-0.97). Algal genus were counted and recorded at each site, using the Palmer (1969) Algal genus Pollution Index to infer on the genera biodiversity and to assess the pollution levels at each site. A sum of 127 genera of algae was found from the four sampling stations throughout the duration of the research study. The sum of algal genera Pollution Index for sampling sites1, 2, 3 and 4 were 19, 42, 37 and 29 respectively. The total score greater than 20 indicated that the water was heavily polluted. The Shannon-Wiener index was calculated using MS Excel. Site1 (HꞋ=3.94) had the highest algal diversity followed by sites 4 (HꞋ=3.78) and 3(HꞋ=3.74) and lastly 2 (HꞋ=3.64). In light of the experimental results obtained it is evident that sampling sites 2 and 3 were highly polluted than station 1 and 4. According to the results obtained from the investigation, Site 2 proved to be the most polluted, while site 1 was the least polluted site. The observations made about site 3 and 4 respectively, show that the river have a very high self purification power to the pollutants received from the river’s upper reaches. The abundance of pollution tolerant genera like Chlorella, Scenedesmus and Chlamydomonas was indicative of high pollution levels of the Mukuvisi River. In order to curb further pollution, EMA should enforce the implementation of the polluter pays principle, encourage self-regulation and economic incentives to polluting firms and industries.This can be achieved through allocation of adequate financial resources.

ABSTRACT

The impact of ZimPhos industrial effluent on the water quality of Mukuvisi River using aquatic microflora indicators was investigated from January to April 2015. Physico-chemical parameters like temperature, pH, BOD, DO, turbidity, conductivity, PO4 and NO3 used to infer on the water quality were measured at the four sites. IBM SPSS Statistics Version 21 and MS Excel were used to analyse data. The ANOVA tests showed statistically significant mean differences for temperature (p=0.00), conductivity (p=0.00), turbidity (p=0.00), BOD (p=0.03) and DO (p=0.00). The ANOVA mean differences for pH (p=0.13), NO3 (p=0.42) and PO4 (p=0.23) were not statistically significant at 0.05 significance level. The correlation analysis tests showed a strong positive relationship between temperature and turbidity (R=0.99).There was a negative correlation shown between pH and turbidity(R=-0.97). Algal genus were counted and recorded at each site, using the Palmer (1969) Algal genus Pollution Index to infer on the genera biodiversity and to assess the pollution levels at each site. A sum of 127 genera of algae was found from the four sampling stations throughout the duration of the research study. The sum of algal genera Pollution Index for sampling sites1, 2, 3 and 4 were 19, 42, 37 and 29 respectively. The total score greater than 20 indicated that the water was heavily polluted. The Shannon-Wiener index was calculated using MS Excel. Site1 (HꞋ=3.94) had the highest algal diversity followed by sites 4 (HꞋ=3.78) and 3(HꞋ=3.74) and lastly 2 (HꞋ=3.64). In light of the experimental results obtained it is evident that sampling sites 2 and 3 were highly polluted than station 1 and 4. According to the results obtained from the investigation, Site 2 proved to be the most polluted, while site 1 was the least polluted site. The observations made about site 3 and 4 respectively, show that the river have a very high self purification power to the pollutants received from the river’s upper reaches. The abundance of pollution tolerant genera like Chlorella, Scenedesmus and Chlamydomonas was indicative of high pollution levels of the Mukuvisi River. In order to curb further pollution, EMA should enforce the implementation of the polluter pays principle, encourage self-regulation and economic incentives to polluting firms and industries.This can be achieved through allocation of adequate financial resources.

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.0  Background of the study

Water is essential to all forms of life and makes up 50-97% of the weight of all plants and animals and about 70% of human body (Allan, 1995). Water is also a vital resource for agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and many other human activities. Despite its importance, water is the most poorly managed resource in the world (Chutter, 1998).

The availability and quality of water always have played an important role in determining the quality of life. Water quality is closely linked to water use and to the state of economic development (Chennakrishnan et al., 2008). Ground and surface waters can be contaminated by several sources. In urban areas, the careless disposal of industrial effluents and other waste may contribute greatly to the poor quality of water (Mathuthu et al., 1997). Most of the water bodies in the developing world are the end points of effluents discharged from industries.

The addition, persistent and recalcitrant xenobiotics are gradually polluting ground and surface water resources in Zimbabwe (Vandas et al, 2002). Generally, increased water pollution has been largely attributed to rapid urbanization and industrialization (Mishra and Bhatt, 2008). Streams which collect industrial effluent discharge the impurities into major rivers and lakes that supply drinking water to major cities in Zimbabwe (Salem et al., 2000). The disposal of sewage and industrial waste is a problem confronting most urban councils in Zimbabwe due to rapid industrialisation and urbanisation. The growth in population is not proportional to the provision of sewage treatment facilities (Kamusoko and Musasa, 2000). Eutrophication, the enrichment of a water body by nutrients especially nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), results in accelerated growth of aquatic flora, fauna, as well as other physical parameters. However, it is the P level, in most situations, which limits growth of aquatic flora

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and hence the control of P amounts reaching water systems can eventually control the development of excessive blooms of algae and of aquatic macrophytes.

With the rapidly expanding use of water for domestic and industrial purposes more and more effluent is drained back into aquatic sources so that only little amounts of clean water become disposable at the quality required (Shuval, 2003). The research studies on water quality in Zimbabwe have been inclined towards the investigations of physico-chemical aspects at the expense of biological parameters (Phiri, 2000). Animal and plant assemblages respond to fairly average level of pollution which may not be detected in chemical analysis, thus biological monitoring programmes have advantages that living organisms may respond to novel or unfamiliar pollutants in the environment.

Over 70 years ago, Zimbabwe Phosphate Industries (ZimPhos) established a factory for the production of phosphate fertilizer on the banks of the Mukuvisi River to the eastern edge of the city of Harare. There is significant degree of groundwater contamination associated with the ZimPhos site, and particularly with the old unlined waste dumps, which although no longer actively receiving waste, continue to discharge chemical pollution into the ground (Ravengai et al, 2004). The three oldest dumps are unlined and have been shown to contribute to the contamination of both surface and groundwater sources (Phiri, 2000). Areas just outside the ZimPhos factory site were also found to have a high incidence of contaminated water in wells, streams and rivers (Phiri, 2000).




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