Keywords: algae, daphnids, fish, key toxic chemicals, pharmaceutical wastewater, toxic units, tannery wastewater, Vibrio fischeri, chemical factory wastewater, whole effluent toxicity, wastewater quality, water pollution
The 'whole-effluent' toxicity approach
The identification and quantification of effluent toxicity plays an important role in the evaluation of harmful impacts on the aquatic environment. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the advantages of using the 'whole-effluent' toxicity approach compared to prediction of toxicity using key toxic compounds. An underestimation of 'whole-effluent' toxicity was always observed using bacteria, but in some cases the sum of individual toxic units was more accurate using daphnids. Good agreement was found in testing the wastewater from a chemical factory. The results clearly demonstrate the importance of using the 'whole-effluent' toxicity approach for the reliable assessment of wastewater quality.