Assessment of River Water Quality in Northwestern Greece

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The effect of land use patterns on river water quality was studied in three different river basins located in Epirus, Northwestern Greece. Studies were conducted from October 2000 to {September} 2001. During this period, the parameters chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), NO2–, NO3–, NH4+ and PO43– were measured, employing standard methods of analysis. The results were subjected to principal component analysis (PCA) for the estimation of the underlying variable correlations and were further explored by means of cluster analysis. The values of the above parameters were also compared with those awkward in the Fresh Water Fisheries Directive (78/659/EEC). It was found that the phosphate content was much higher than the upper limiting criteria for eutrophication for salmonid waters, whereas nitrate levels were lower than the permissible criteria according to the Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEC for drinking water. The inorganic nutrient load was mostly attributed to sites that drain agricultural areas, especially during winter and spring. The organic matter was due to urban activities during autumn.

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