AMBIO

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 391–407 | Cite as

Water Quality of Medium Size Watercourse Under Baseflow Conditions: The Case Study of River Sutla in Croatia

  • Zrinka Dragun
  • Damir Kapetanović
  • Biserka Raspor
  • Emin Teskeredžić
Report

Abstract

The study on medium size river Sutla in Croatia indicated considerable water contamination at specific sites during the baseflow period, probably associated to low flow-rate (0.73–68.8 m3 s−1), and consequently low dilution capacity of this river. Various aspects of contamination were observed: increased conductivity to 1,000 μS cm−1, decreased dissolved oxygen level to 50%, 4–5°C increased water temperature, increased concentrations of several dissolved trace elements (e.g., maximal values of Li: 45.4 μg l−1; Rb: 10.4 μg l−1; Mo: 20.1 μg l−1; Cd: 0.31 μg l−1; Sn: 30.2 μg l−1; Sb: 11.8 μg l−1; Pb: 1.18 μg l−1; Ti: 1.03 μg l−1; Mn: 261.1 μg l−1; and Fe: 80.5 μg l−1) and macro elements (e.g., maximal values of Na: 107.5 mg l−1; and K: 17.3 mg l−1), as well as moderate or even critical fecal (E. coli: 4,888 MPN/100 ml; total coliforms: 45,307 MPN/100 ml; enterococci: 1,303 MPN/100 ml) and organic pollution (heterotrophic bacteria: 94,000 cfu/ml). Although metal concentrations still have not exceeded the limits considered as hazardous for aquatic life or eventually for human health, the observed prominent increases of both metal concentrations and bacterial counts in the river water should be considered as a warning and incentive to protect the small and medium size rivers from the future deterioration, as recommended by EU Water Framework Directive.

Keywords

Baseflow Dissolved trace metals Macro elements Microbiological water quality River Sutla 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The financial support by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport (projects No. 098-0982934-2721 and 098-0982934-2752) and by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development of the Republic of Croatia (Programme for the monitoring of the freshwater fishery status in the year 2009—Group D—Fishing area Sava; River Sutla; Class: 023-01/08-01/216; Del.No.: 525-10-09-14) is acknowledged. The authors are thankful to the Meteorological and Hydrological Service of the Republic of Croatia for providing the hydrological information. Special thanks are due to Branko Španović, Dr. Božidar Kurtović, Dr. Damir Valić, Dr. Irena Vardić Smrzlić and Željka Strižak, B.Sc. for the help in the field work, to Zvjezdana Šoštarić Vulić and Hasan Muharemović for valuable technical assistance, as well as to Dr. Nevenka Mikac and Željka Fiket, B.Sc. for the help in the metal analysis and for the opportunity to use the HR ICP-MS.

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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zrinka Dragun
    • 1
  • Damir Kapetanović
    • 2
  • Biserka Raspor
    • 1
  • Emin Teskeredžić
    • 2
  1. 1.Ruđer Bošković Institute, Division for Marine and Environmental Research, Laboratory for Biological Effects of MetalsZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Ruđer Bošković Institute, Division for Marine and Environmental Research, Laboratory for Aquaculture and Pathology of Aquatic OrganismsZagrebCroatia

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