Author(s): Mladenov N, Strzepek K, Serumola OM
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Abstract In an effort to assess current and future water quality of the only perennial river in southeastern Botswana, this study presents water quality monitoring and modeling results for the effluent-dependent Notwane River. The water quality along the Notwane River, pre- and post-implementation of secondary wastewater treatment, was compared and results demonstrated that water quality improved after the new wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) went online. However, stream standards for chemical oxygen demand, total dissolved phosphorous, and fecal coliform were exceeded in most locations and the critical dissolved oxygen (DO) reached concentrations of less than 4 mg L(-1). High dissolved P concentrations and intense macrophyte growth at the impounding ponds and at sites within 30 km of the effluent waste stream confluence suggest that eutrophication was a function of P release from the ponds. Results of DO modeling demonstrated that an unpolluted inflow at approximately 10 km downstream of the confluence was responsible for raising DO concentrations by 2.3 mg L(-1), while SOD was responsible for a decline in DO concentrations of 1.4 mg L(-1) at 6 km downstream of the confluence. Simulations also showed higher DO concentrations during winter months, when water temperatures were lower. Simulations, in which the distributed biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) loading from cattle excrement was decreased, produced nominal increases in DO concentrations. An increase in WWTP BOD loadings to projected 2020 values resulted in a 1.3 mg L(-1) decrease in the critical DO concentration. Furthermore, a decrease in treatment plant efficiency, from 94\% to 70\% BOD removal, produced critical DO concentrations and anoxia along much of the modeled reach. This has significant implications for Gaborone, especially if decreased WWTP efficiency occurs as a result of the expected future increase in pollutant loadings.
This article was published in Environ Monit Assess
and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology