Spatial and temporal variations of water quality in an artificial urban river receiving WWTP effluent in South China

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Urban wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent as reclaimed water provides an alternative water resource for urban rivers and effluent will pose a significant influence on the water quality of rivers. The objective of this study was to investigate the spatial and temporal variations of water quality in XZ River, an artificial urban river in Shenzhen city, Guangdong Province, China, after receiving reclaimed water from WWTP effluent. The water samples were collected monthly at different sites of XZ River from April 2013 to September 2014. Multivariate statistical techniques and a box-plot were used to assess the variations of water quality and to identify the main pollution factor. The results showed the input of WWTP effluent could effectively increase dissolved oxygen, decrease turbidity, phosphorus load and organic pollution load of XZ River. However, total nitrogen and nitrate pollution loads were found to remain at higher levels after receiving reclaimed water, which might aggravate eutrophication status of XZ River. Organic pollution load exhibited the lowest value on the 750 m downstream of XZ River, while turbidity and nutrient load showed the lowest values on the 2,300 m downstream. There was a higher load of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the dry season and at the beginning of wet season.

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