Use of macroinvertebrate assemblages for assessing performance of stabilization ponds treating effluents from sugarcane and molasses processing
2017 (English)In: Environmental Monitoring & Assessment, ISSN 0167-6369, E-ISSN 1573-2959, Vol. 189, no 2, 79Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Wastewater discharge from sugarcane processing is a significant pollutant of tropical aquatic ecosystems. For most developing countries, monitoring of the level of pollutants is done mostly through chemical analysis, but this does not reflect potential impacts on aquatic assemblages. In addition, laboratory facilities for accurate concentration measurements are often not available for regular monitoring programs. In this study, we investigated the use of benthic macroinvertebrates for biological monitoring in western Kenya. Benthic macroinvertebrates were sampled in stabilization ponds treating wastewater from sugarcane- and molassesbased processing plants to assess their composition and abundance in relation to different concentrations of chemical variables. Optimum concentrations and tolerance values were identified for various taxa, and a biotic index was developed that combined tolerance values (ranked between 0 and 10) for the various macroinvertebrate taxa. A succession in composition and distribution of macroinvertebrate taxa was observed from the inlet to the outlet of the pond systems. Diptera dominated in the first ponds that had high concentrations of chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD5), and nutrients, while intolerant Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) appeared as the concentrations dropped in subsequent ponds. The effluent quality was classified as "good","fair," and "poor," corresponding with biotic index value ranges 0-3.50, 3.51-6.50, and 6.51-10, respectively. During validation, the index grouped sites with respect to levels of measured environmental variables. The study revealed that the developed biotic index would help in monitoring the quality of sugarcane processing and molasses effluents before release into recipient aquatic ecosystems, replacing the need for costly chemical analyses.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SPRINGER , 2017. Vol. 189, no 2, 79
Biotic index; Biomonitoring; Invertebrates; Molasses; Sugarcane effluents; Wastewater
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-136067DOI: 10.1007/s10661-017-5786-9ISI: 000393645800034PubMedID: 28120206OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-136067DiVA: diva2:1084817
Funding Agencies|SIDA-SAREC; Kenya National Council for Science and Technology2017-03-272017-03-272017-03-27