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Province-based self-remediation efficiency of the Tha Chin river basin, Thailand

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The Tha Chin River Basin located in the great central basin of Thailand is used for water supply, aquaculture, transportation, and recreation as well as a sink for wastewater discharges. Because of gradual deterioration of water quality and fishery resources, this study aimed to explain recent status of the river self-remediation efficiency that was influenced by nutrient inputs and outputs from the river system. Field surveys were carried out during May 2007 (early rainy season) and October 2007 (late rainy season) within the Tha Chin River located in 4 provinces; Chainat, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom, and Samut Sakhon. The nutrient budgets in each province section were analyzed. Results indicated that the river was in eutrophic condition all year round. High nitrogen and phosphorus loads from surrounding agricultural land use, agro-industry, and community continuously flew into the river system. Those nutrient concentrations were higher in the early rainy season than the late rainy season. The lowest river zone (in Samut Sakhon province) indicated highest dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and orthophosphate phosphorus (P) discharges of 145.54 and 36.14 tons/day, respectively. The highest remediation efficiency of the river (ca 60% of the total input) was found in the uppermost area of Suphan Buri province. The lowest remediation efficiency (ca 12%) was found in Samut Sakhon province. From the overall view, long term monitoring of river and estuarine DIN and P should be conducted. To make better condition of aquatic environment and fishery resource in each province-based section, the controls of DIN and P remediation efficiencies (e.g. by effective management of flow speed) at 20 and 50%, respectively, were recommended.

Keywords: dissolved inorganic nitrogen, nutrient budget, orthophosphate phosphorus, province-based self-remediation efficiency, Tha Chin river basin

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