Investigating the impacts of treated effluent discharge on coastal water health (Visakhapatnam, SW coast of Bay of Bengal, India)
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The present study investigated the impacts of treated effluent discharge on physicochemical and biological properties of coastal waters from three pharmaceuticals situated along the coast of Visakhapatnam (SW Bay of Bengal). Seawater samples were collected (during the months of December 2013, March 2014 and April 2014) from different sampling locations (Chippada (CHP), Tikkavanipalem (TKP) and Nakkapalli (NKP)) at 0- and 30-m depths within 2-km radius (0.5 km = inner, 1 km = middle and 2 km = outer sampling circles) from the marine outfall points. Physicochemical and biological parameters, which differed significantly within the stations, were likely to be influenced by strong seasonality rather than local discharge. Dissolved oxygen variability was tightly coupled with both physical and biological processes. Phytoplankton cell density and total chlorophyll (TChla) concentrations were significantly correlated with dissolved inorganic nutrient concentrations. CHP (December) represented a diatom bloom condition where the highest concentrations of diatom cells, total chlorophyll (TChla), dissolved oxygen coupled with lower zooplankton abundance and low nutrient levels were noticed. The centric diatom, Chaetoceros sp. (> 50%) dominated the phytoplankton community. TKP (March) represented a post-diatom bloom phase with the dominance of Pseudo-nitzschia seriata; zooplankton abundance and nutrient concentrations were minimum. Conversely, NKP (April) represented a warm well-stratified heterotrophic period with maximum zooplankton and minimum phytoplankton density. Dinoflagellate abundance increased at this station. Relatively higher water temperature, salinity, inorganic nutrients coupled with very low concentrations of dissolved oxygen, TChla and pH were observed at this station. Copepods dominated the zooplankton communities in all stations and showed their highest abundance in the innermost sampling circles. Treated effluent discharge did not seem to have any significant impact at these discharge points.
KeywordsPharmaceutical effluent Coastal pollution Visakhapatnam Bay of Bengal Zooplankton Phytoplankton
The authors thank the Scientist in Charge, Regional Centre, CSIR National Institute of Oceanography, Visakhapatnam, and the director of CSIR NIO for their continuous support and encouragement. All scientific staffs and projects assistants working at the biogeochemistry group of RC, Visakhapatnam, are thankfully acknowledged for their kind cooperation during this study. The financial support from the sponsors Divi Labs Ltd., J.N. Ramky Pharma City and Hetero Labs Ltd. is also gratefully acknowledged. NIO contribution number is 6131.
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