Keywords: treated effluent, indices, yardstick, monitoring, evaluation, toxicity, health risks, ecotoxicology, water eutrophication, irrigation suitability, sewage treatment, Cyprus, sustainable water resources, water resource management, sustainability
Development and implementation of indices for the quality of treated effluent
The developed monitoring and evaluation system is based on 113 chemical, ecotoxicological and microbiological/virological parameters and consists of two complimentary schemes: a) the traditional one, which provides technical or legal oriented information and is based on the independent evaluation of each parameter against legal limits, and b) the amoeba-effluent yardstick which provides management oriented information and is based on the holistic evaluation of indices against preset target values. Six indices were developed: the Toxic Potential, the Toxic Suspect, the Health Risk, the Water Eutrophication, the Toxic Effect, and the Irrigation Suitability Index. Each index consists of interrelated parameters and reflects a different type of pollution or effect. The indices are integrated in one 'yardstick' by which the status of the treated effluent, degree of deviation from targets and priorities for policy measures are clearly described. Target values for each index were developed based on available limits, ecotoxicological data and expert judgment. These were finally adjusted considering also socioeconomic factors.