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Impact of human activities on the quality of river water: The case of Evrotas River catchment basin, Greece


The impact of point (domestic and industrial effluents) and non-point (agricultural land runoff) pollution sources on the quality of the receiving waters of the Evrotas River (Laconia, Greece) was investigated during a monitoring study from August 1991 to August 1992. The part of the river which was located near the city of Sparta was seasonally influenced by the discharge of effluents from orange juice plants (operating during winter) and by the discharge of septage for the emptying of cesspools which are serving part of the city. The low dilution of incoming pollutants (septage) during the low water flow in summer lead to the decreasing self-purification capacity of the river and the development of septicity conditions in some of its parts. In the vicinity of intensively cultivated areas, the high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus which were detected in the river water during winter and spring may be partly attributed to the leaching of the applied fertilizers because of nirogen mobilization and soil erosion, following the season's precipitations. The protection of the Evrotas River water Quality must therefore include adequate treatment of the septage produced in the area, as well as the construction of wastewater treatment plants for the major industries of the area. The non-point pollution could be controlled by the restoration of the Evrotas riparian vegetation, together with a more rational use of fertilizers in the area.

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Angelidis, M.O., Markantonatos, P.G. & Bacalis, N.C. Impact of human activities on the quality of river water: The case of Evrotas River catchment basin, Greece. Environ Monit Assess 35, 137–153 (1995).

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  • Wastewater Treatment
  • River Water
  • Soil Erosion
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Orange Juice