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(A Case Study of Dambullu Oya Reservoir)

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S G C L Subhawickrama
National Water Supply and Drainage Board
Eutrophication
is a process whereby
water bodies receive
excessive amounts of
nutrients, which
results in excessive
plant growth.
Fig.1

Compare these 2
ponds, the bottom
one experiencing
eutrophication.

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Fig.2
Before Eutrophication After Eutrophication

When water bodies such as lakes, streams and rivers are over
fertilized, excessive production of aquatic organic matter can
become a water quality problem.
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As a result, the Eutrophication process can be enhanced.
Causes for Eutrophication
Excessive use of agro chemicals in agriculture
A higher vulnerability in eutrophication of stagnated fresh water bodies.

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Eutrophication is a natural process. However,
humans in their everyday activities can
exacerbate the process.

Point sources
Sewage treatment plant discharges
Storm sewer discharges
Industrial discharges

Non-point sources
Atmospheric deposition
Agricultural runoff (fertilizer, soil erosion)
Septic systems

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Level of Eutrophication (Trophic State)
Since the early part of the 20th century, lakes have been
classified according to their trophic state.
Oligotrophic
Mesotrophic
Eutrophic

Total Secchi
Chlorophyll-a Total Nitrogen
Trophic Class Phosphorus Depth
(g/l) (mg/l)
(mg/l) (m)
Oligotrophic <8 0.01 0.2 0.4 <30
Mesotrophic 8 - 25 0.01 0.035 0.4 - .06 30 - 60
Eutrophic 25 - 75 0.035 1.00 0.6 1.5 >60
Source; Organization for Economic Cooperation

Lakes with extreme trophic indices may also be considered 6


hyper-oligotrophic or Hyper-eutrophic.
Significance of the Study
Deterioration of raw water properties
Undesirable tastes and odors
Decreases in water transparency and perceived
aesthetic value of the water body
Dissolved oxygen depletion
Increased biomass of phytoplankton & blooms
Toxic or inedible phytoplankton species
Operational issues
reduced filter runs
increased chlorine demand
increased Trihalomethanes (THM) content in subsequently
chlorinated water
Increased incidences of fish kills
Loss of desirable fish species
Reductions in harvestable fish
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Hence, evaluation of lake tropic states which are based on the lake
fertility and its hydrodynamics is essential for deciding sustainable
treatment systems.
Why it is a problem?

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Objectives
1. To investigate the available raw water quality data on algae of
Dambulu Oya lake.

2. To envisage which parameter/s would be better to evaluate the


status of the lake, predict future possibilities .

3. To identify the most probable design figure of algal concentration


towards treatment requirements.

Algal number or types of algae may not realistic.

It is yet questionable which parameter to be considered for algae


counting.

Because, as both measuring of algal population and relative


abundance of species are
time-consuming
laborious
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expensive
not always accurate due to measuring errors.
Methodology
The data were obtained form the report available for Dambullu Oya

Data taken for 07 years from 2008 to 2015.

Referred water quality reports issued by the following institutions/


professionals.
Industrial Technology Institute (ITI)
SGS Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd (SGS)
Postgraduate Institute of Science (PGIS), University of
Peradeniya (Dr. S K Yatigammana)
University of Sri Jayawardhanapura (UOSJ), (Prof. M M
Pathmalal)
Raw water analysis by NWSDB

Classified the data on the Chlorophyll-a (CHl-a) and Total Phosphorus


(T-P) as per the ranges of trophic states.

Calculated Mean and Coefficient of Variances (COVs) for CHl-a, algal


count and TP data. 10
Then, calculated the percentages on possibility in existence of different
status from year 2008 to 2015
Data: CHl-a (Chlorophyll-a in g/l )
NWSDB SGS PGIS UOSJ
August, 2012 June, 2012 April, 2015 Oct, 2015
30.45 160 20.6 14.81
22.84 198 10.36
05.84 181 23.696
38.32 90 2.962
21 14.81
11.9 20.734
121
96
228
276
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283
313
Data: T-P (Total phosphorus in mg/l)
NWSDB SGS PGIS UOSJ
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 June, 2012 April, 2015 Oct, 2015
0.84 0.1 0.46 0.15 0.1 0.2 0.23 0.002
0.98 0.04 0.06 0.15 0.08 0.18 0.006
0.31 0.39 0.15 0.06 2.47 0.58 0
0.46 0.3 0.05 0.04 0.1 0.15 0.017
0 0.19 0.08 0.11 0.15 0.008
0.04 0.02 0.38 0.19 0.006
0 0.09 0.09 0.19
0.07 0.19 0.05 0.19
0.01 0.39 0.18
0.37 0.07 0.17
0.19 0.11 12
0.27 0.05
0.7
Data: Algal Cell Count in cell/ml
NWSDB UOSJ

March, 2015 Oct, 2015

496 23614

58 20462

40 44922

38 18700

171 21987

24564

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Data: T-N (Total Nitrogen in mg/l)
SGS ITI UOSJ
June, 2012 July, 2012 Oct, 2015
0.36 0.36 0.23
0.00 0.00 0.29
0.36 0.27
0.37 0.32
0.70 0.21
0.00 0.37
0.00
0.00
0.85
0.06
0.08
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0.00
Results
Coefficient Of Variance of CHl-a is better than Algal
cell count than T-P.

Parameter Unit Mean COV

CHl-a g/l 18.7+10.4 56%

Algal cell count cells/ml 15,351+14,935 97%

T-P ppm 0.22+0.36 161%

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Results (cont.)
The possibilities for the lake status during the study
period were calculated.

Possibilities for the lake status (%)


Trophic State
Based on CHl-a data Based on T-P data

Oligotrophic 08 15

Mesotrophic 42 05

Eutrophic 08 78

Hyper-Eutrophic 42 02 16
Conclusion
Dambullu Oya is mostly in the transient status between
Mesotrophic towards Eutrophic .
(The chlorophyll-a levels for Mesotrophic and Eutrophic are
8-25 g/l and 25-75 g/l respectively).

The Chlorophyll-a data is correlated with the other


eutrophication related parameters such as Total Phosphorous
and algal count.

Based on the results, Chlorophyll-a data showed the least


dispersion.

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Recommendation
Use Chlorophyll-a measurements to
determine the raw water quality against algae.
classify into ranges for lake status and
predict possible future occurrences from the
percentages on possibility in existence.

Chlorophyll-a can easily be adopted in the Sri Lankan practices


as a design figure for evaluating algal concentration.

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