Title: Water quality assessment of a polluted urban river

Authors: G.M. Nader; P.V. Sanchez Proaño; D.S. Cicerone

Addresses: División Química del Suelo y Agua, Gerencia Química, Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica, San Martín, P.O. Box 1650, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Instituto de Investigación e Ingeniería Ambiental, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, San Martín, P.O. Box 1650, Buenos Aires, Argentina ' División Química del Suelo y Agua, Gerencia Química, Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica, San Martín, P.O. Box 1650, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Instituto de Investigación e Ingeniería Ambiental, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, San Martín, P.O. Box 1650, Buenos Aires, Argentina ' División Química del Suelo y Agua, Gerencia Química, Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica, San Martín, P.O. Box 1650, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Instituto de Investigación e Ingeniería Ambiental, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, San Martín, P.O. Box 1650, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Abstract: Urban rivers in Latin America are heavily impacted by human activities that affect their functions and services. This paper shows the results of a water quality assessment for the Reconquista River, the second most polluted urban river in Argentina. They allowed the identification of the main processes of transport of pollutants and the prioritisation of different areas of the basin for interventions in a future sanitation plan. The following assessment tools were used: a Water Quality Index (WQI); geospatial and statistical analysis of the environmental parameters; and determination of critical points of the system. The implementation of these tools required 32 physicochemical and microbiological parameters that were measured in six monitoring campaigns from a monitoring network composed of 12 sites. Results show that water quality decreased from fair to very poor, with reference to protection of aquatic life; mainly due to the impact produced by the discharge of organic untreated effluents.

Keywords: urban rivers; water quality assessment; contamination critical zones; pollutant transport; water pollution; Argentina; sanitation planning; statistical analysis; geospatial analysis; pollution monitoring; aquatic life; untreated effluent; organic effluent.

DOI: 10.1504/IJENVH.2013.056972

International Journal of Environment and Health, 2013 Vol.6 No.4, pp.307 - 319

Available online: 03 Oct 2013 *

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