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An assessment of the effects of hospital wastes released to Nilwala river, Matara

Authors:

WKAMTS Aththanyaka ,

Department of Limnology, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences & Technology, University of Ruhuna, Matara, LK
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HB Asanthi,

Department of Limnology, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences & Technology, University of Ruhuna, Matara, LK
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RA Maithreepala

Department of Limnology, Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences & Technology, University of Ruhuna, Matara
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Abstract

Wastewater from hospitals either treated or partially treated can alter water quality and biological diversity in adjacent water. This study focused to assess effects of hospital wastes discharged from the General Hospital Matara to the Nilwala River. Two sampling sites were located upstream of the entrance of wastewater while two sites were located downstream of the entrance of wastewater discharge and one site was selected at the entrance of the wastewater channel. Water, sediment and plankton samples were collected biweekly during February to April, 2012. Nitrate, phosphate, pH and Cu concentrations in water sampled from the hospital wastewater discharging canal were significantly (One-way ANOVA, p<0.05) different from the other sampling sites. However, Cu concentration in surface water did not exceed the EU limits of 0.0005-0.112mg/l for fisheries and aquatic life and similarly water pH did not exceed the maximum allowable limit (6-8.5) for fisheries and aquatic life in Sri Lanka. Mean concentration of Cu in sediment collected at the entrance of the wastewater channel was 0.75±0.05 mg/g dw. Although total coliform concentration (MPN/100ml) did not vary significantly among the sampling sites, it was relatively low (39.66±17.7) at the waste discharging canal due to the presence of disinfectants in hospital wastewater. Pediastrum simplex was the most abundant phytoplankton species at all the five sampling sites. Cladocera was the most abundant group of zooplankton in all the sites except at the entrance of wastewater discharging canal and Protozoa was the most abundant group present at the wastewater discharging canal. According to rotated matrix of Principle Component Analysis (PCA) water pH, PO4−3, NO3, TDS, Salinity and Zooplankton abundance can be considered as important parameters at the study site of wastewater entrance (site 3). The toxicity (72h EC50) of hospital wastes on Pediastrum simplex was 0.08 Toxic Units (TU) and it was not an acute toxic effect on the alga when compared with hazard classification systems for wastes discharge into the aquatic environment.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/jur.v2i1-2.7852

J. Univ. Ruhuna 2014 2:33-39

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jur.v2i1-2.7852
How to Cite: Aththanyaka, W., Asanthi, H. & Maithreepala, R., (2014). An assessment of the effects of hospital wastes released to Nilwala river, Matara. Journal of the University of Ruhuna. 2(1-2), pp.33–39. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jur.v2i1-2.7852
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Published on 24 Dec 2014.
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