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Design of a monitoring network and assessment of the pollution on the Lerma river and its tributaries by wastewaters disposal

C. Fall , a, , A. Hinojosa-Peaa and M.C. Carreo-de-Lena


Universidad Autnoma del Estado de Mxico, Centro Interamericano de Recursos del Agua, Facultad de Ingeniera, Mexico Received 7 June 2006; revised 20 October 2006; accepted 30 October 2006. Available online 19 December 2006. Abstract While the 2005 progress report of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals stresses out the need of a dramatic increase in investment to meet the sanitation target in the third world, it is important to anticipate about some parallel negative impacts that may have this optimistic programme (extension of sewer networks without sufficient treatment works). Research was initiated on Lerma River (Mexico), subjected to many rejects disposal, to design a monitoring network and evaluate the impact of wastewaters on its water quality. The discharges was inventorized, geo-positioned with a GPS and mapped, while the physico-chemical characteristics of the river water, its tributaries and main rejects were evaluated. Microtox system was used as an additional screening tool. Along the 60 km of the High Course of Lerma River (HCLR), 51 discharges, with a diameter or width larger than 0.3 m (including 7 small tributaries) were identified. Based on the inventory, a monitoring network of 21 sampling stations in the river and 13 in the important discharges (> 2 m) was proposed. A great similitude was found between the average characteristics of the discharges and the river itself, in both the wet and dry seasons. Oxygen was found exhausted (< 0.5 mg/L) almost all along the high course of the river, with COD and TDS average levels of 390 and 1980 mg/L in the dry season, against 150 and 400 mg/L in the wet season. In the dry season, almost all the sites along the river revealed some toxicity to the bacteria test species (2.9 to 150 TU, with an average of 27 TU). Same septic conditions and toxicity levels were observed in many of the discharges. Four of the six evaluated tributaries, as well as the lagoon (origin of the river), were relatively in better conditions (2 to 8 mg/L D.O., TU < 1) than for the Lerma, acting as diluents and renewal of the HCLR flow rate. The river was shown to be quite a main sewer collector. The high surface water contamination by untreated wastewaters that is depicted in this research should be taken into account in the Millennium Goals strategies, by promoting treatment plan works simultaneously, when sewer networks in the third world would extend.

Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Vol. 270, No.1 (2006) 914 02365731/USD 20.00 Akadmiai Kiad, Budapest 2006 Akadmiai Kiad, Budapest Springer, Dordrecht Major and trace elements in sediments of the upper course of Lerma river S. Tejeda,1* G. Zaraza-Ortega,1 P. Avila-Prez,1 A. Garca-Meja,1 L. Carapia-Morales,1 C. Diaz-Delgado2 1 Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares, Gerencia de Ciencias Ambientales, Apartado Postal 18-1027, Mxico D.F., C.P. 11801, Mxico 2 Centro Interamericano de Recursos del Agua, UAEM. Cerro de Coatepec s/n Toluca, Mxico (Received April 6, 2006) The Lerma is one of the most important rivers of Mexico, where it drains highly populated and industrialized regions. The concentration of six major and trace elements: titanium, manganese, iron, zinc, copper and lead in the surface sediments of the upper course of Lerma river was investigated, in order to identify its distribution along the river and to recognize the principal sites of pollution. The surface sediment samples were collected at 8 sites distributed following the stream flow direction of the river. Major and trace elements concentrations were determined by energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry. The results show that the metal concentrations in the sediments decrease in the sequence: Fe > Ti > Mn > Zn > Cu > Pb. Concentration of Fe, Mn and Ti were significantly higher than the other metals in site 8,200 meters downstream the Alzate Dam. The high concentrations and spatial variations of Zn, Cu and Pb in the middle sites of the upper course of the Lerma River indicate that the river pollution is probably associated with urban and industrial discharges. Introduction In the last 20 years, the Lerma River has been severely affected by the uncontrollable increase of the human population, the high volume of industrial wastewaters and the increase in the extraction of underground water from the Toluca Valley in order to cover the demand of more than 20 million people from Mxico City.1 The Lerma River is located in the center of Mxico and it represents the principal supply of water to agricultural lands that produce corn, the principal consumed grain by the people in the region and country. This river has been used as the only one mechanism to dispose the industrial and domestic wastewaters in the region. This situation, has produced the eutrofication of the river and the lost of aquatic life. The Upper Course of the Lerma River (UCLER) is the most important source of water for agricultural propose in the region and it supports 1.5 millions of people. This River also receives residual water from the water treatment plant RECICLAGUA, from other two similar water treatment plants from Toluca city and solid wastes introduced in the river by canals and creeks. As a consequence, the water and sediment quality has been deteriorated causing an unbalance in the food chain of the species, with the disappearance of fishes and other aquatic organisms and surviving only high resistance aquatic organisms as the water hyacinth.2

Toxic metals are considered amongst the most serious pollutants of aquatic ecosystems, since they are generally not eliminated by natural process as the organic pollutants, and it can enter in the food chains by means of bioaccumulation, bioconcentration and biomagnification processes.2 Toxic elements like Hg, Cd, Pb, Cr, Cu and As, are accumulated in the sediments * E-mail: stv@nuclear.inin.mx where it can be resuspended in bioavailable chemical forms producing chronic or acute intoxications.3 There are some works that show metal accumulation in the sediments and plankton ( Daphnia pulex) of the J. A. Alzate reservoir,2,4 which is part of the UCLER. The deposited sediments has been used in order to evaluate sediment and water quality as a function of time because they integrate the fluctuating input of major and trace elements over rather long time scales.5,6 Toxic elements are emitted to the air, soil or water as sewage, and finally accumulate in the aquatic sediment. Therefore, sediments give a time-integrated picture about geographical and temporal emission trends.7,8 Major and trace elements in sediments occur in different geochemical forms, which have distinct mobility, biological toxicity and chemical behaviors. The high total concentrations of toxic elements in sediments may not necessarily indicate anthropogenic contamination, because of different background levels in parent materials and sediment properties.9 At this time, there is not a data base about the distribution of major and trace elements in sediments of the UCLER. For this reason, the aim of this work is to identify the accumulation sites or hot spots for major and trace elements in the sediments of the UCLER and its content in the clay/silt sediment fraction and bulk sediment. This work presents the first results of Ti, Mn, Fe, Cu and Pb in the fine and bulk sediment fraction. Chemical oxidation with hydrogen peroxide for domestic wastewater treatment Mohamed Ksibi , Laboratoire de lEau, de lEnergie et de 1Environnement (LEEE), Ecole Nationale dIngnieurs de Sfax (ENIS) Universit de Sfax, B.P. W 3038, Sfax, Tunisia Received 24 October 2005; revised 16 March 2006; accepted 17 March 2006. Available online 4 May 2006. Abstract The recycling of domestic wastewater is an effective means of coping with the water shortage in Tunisia. After hydrogen peroxide oxidation, the refractory organic substances in wastewater were decomposed. COD, offensive odor and foaminess in the effluents were reduced with increasing dose. Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes both organic and inorganic pollutants which contribute to BOD and COD. The Oxidation of sulfides into sulfates by H2O2 may be applied directly to aqueous wastes containing these odorants. Inactivation efficiencies of bacteria in the secondary effluents by H2O2 oxidation was investigated. The number of total coliforms exponentially decreased with increasing dose and fell to low levels at the dose of 2.5 ml/L.