Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Aquatic environmental assessment of Lake Balaton in the light of physical-chemical water parameters

  • 420 Accesses

  • 1 Citations


One of the issues of the Hungarian Water Management Strategy is the improvement and upgrading of the water of Lake Balaton. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) specifies and sets forth the achievement of the good ecological status. However, the assessment of the water quality of the lake as a complex system requires a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation procedure. Measurements were carried out around the Lake Balaton at ten different locations/sites and 13 physical-chemical parameters were monitored at each measurement site.

For the interpretation of the water chemistry parameters the Aquatic Environmental Assessment (AEA) method devised by authors was used for the water body of the Lake Balaton. The AEA method can be used for all types of the water bodies since it is flexible and using individual weighting procedure for the water chemistry parameters comprehensive information can be obtain. The AEA method was compared with existing EIA methods according to a predefined criterion system and proved to be the most suitable tool for evaluating the environmental impacts in our study.

On the basis of the results it can be concluded that the status of the quality of studied area on the Lake Balaton can be categorized as proper quality (from the outcome of the ten measurement sites this conclusion was reached at seven sites).

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10



aquatic environmental assessment


aquatic environment index

BOD5 :

biochemical oxygen demand during decomposition occurring over a 5-day period


chlorophyll a content

CLvi :

limit value of water chemistry parameter i

CMi :

Measured value of water chemistry parameter i

CODcr :

chemical oxygen demand (using a strong oxidizing chemical, potassium dichromate)


dissolved oxygen content


electrical conductivity


governmental decree


geographic information system


inverse distance weighted


Kis-Balaton Water Protection System


microbial fuel cell

n :

number of the water chemistry parameters


National Environmental Information System


ammonium-nitrogen content


nitrate-nitrogen content


oxygen saturation


orthophosphate content


solid phase P-sorbing products

QC i :

quality class of water chemistry parameter i

Q Di :

deviation of water chemistry parameter i from the legal limit value


River Basin Management Plans

r Lvi :

magnitude of limit value of water chemistry parameter i;

r mi :

magnitude of the measured water chemistry parameter i;


total nitrogen content


total phosphorus content




Water Framework Directive


weight index


  1. CIA (2011) Renewable water resources, the world factbook total, Central Intelligence Agency -, Website © 2010 Advameg, Inc http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/WorldStats/CIA-Total-renewable-water-resources.html. Accessed 27 June 2017

  2. Cooke GD, Welch EB, Martin AB, Fulmer DG, Hyde JB, Schrleve GD (1993) Effectiveness of Al, Ca and Fe salts for control of internal phosphorus loading in shallow and deep lakes. Hydrobiologia 253:323–335

  3. Cserny T, Nagy-Bodor E (2000) Limnogeological investigation on Lake Balaton. AAPG Stud Geol 46:605–618

  4. Dee N, Drobny N, Duke K, Whimann I, Fahringer D (1973) An evaluation system for water resources planning. Battelle Laboratory, Water Resour Res 9:523–535

  5. Dietrich B, Gayer J, Grenczer G, Kovacs R (2013) The Hungarian water and sanitation industry in the 21st century. Water Summit Budapest. Published by HITA http://www.budapestwatersummit.hu/data/images/BWS_news_water_and_sanitation_hu_brossure.pdf, Accessed 27 June 2017

  6. Dittrich M, Chesnyuk A, Gudimov A, McCulloch J, Quazi S, Young J, Winter J, Stainsby E, Arhonditis G (2013) Phosphorus retention in a mesotrophic lake under transient loading conditions: insights from a sediment phosphorus binding from study. Water Res 47:1433–1447

  7. Dövényi Z (2012) Geography of the Carpathian Basin. Academic publisher, Budapest (in Hungarian)

  8. Esri (2016) How inverse distance weighted interpolation works, ArcGIS Pro, Esri web. http://pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/help/analysis/geostatistical-analyst/how-inverse-distance-weighted-interpolation-works.htm. Accessed 27 June 2017

  9. EuLakes (2010) Water quality time series studies (2004–2010) European Lakes under environmental stressors http://eulakes-model.eu/outputs/water-quality-2004-2010.html. Accessed 27 June 2017

  10. GD (2004) Governmental Decree No 31/2004 (XII. 30.) of Ministry of Environmental and Water Management (KvVM) on defining certain rules on the surface water monitoring and state assessment, https://net.jogtar.hu/jr/gen/hjegy_doc.cgi?docid=a0400031.kvv. Accessed 27 June 2017 (in Hungarian)

  11. GD (2010) Governmental Decree No 10/2010. (VIII. 18.) of Ministry of Rural Development (VM) on defining the rules for establishment and use of water pollution limits of surface water. https://net.jogtar.hu/jr/gen/hjegy_doc.cgi?docid=a1000010.vm. Accessed 27 June 2017 (in Hungarian)

  12. Gibbs MM, Hickey CW, Özkundaki D (2011) Sustainability assessment and comparison of efficacy of four P-inactivation agents for managing internal phosphorus loads in lakes: sediment incubations. Hydrobiologia 658:253–275

  13. Hatvani IG, Kovács J, Székely Kovács I, Jakusch P, Korponai J (2011) Analysis of long-term water quality changes in the Kis-Balaton water protection system with time series-, cluster analysis and Wilks’ lambda distribution. Ecol Eng 37:629–635

  14. Horváth E (2011) Soil and soil protection, digital book. University of Pannonia, Veszprem. http://www.tankonyvtar.hu/hu/tartalom/tamop425/0021_Talajvizvedelem/ch01s02.html. Accessed 27 June 2017 (in Hungarian)

  15. HMS (2017) Dataset of evaporation 1921-2003, Hungarian Meteorological Service, http://methu/eghajlat/magyarorszag_eghajlata/eghajlati_visszatekinto/elmult_evek_idojarasa/ Accessed 27 June 2017 (in Hungarian)

  16. ICPDR (2016) Danube Basin, International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River. Austria, Vienna https://www.icpdr.org/main/danube-basin, Accessed 27 June 2017

  17. Istvánkovics V, Clement A, Somlyódi L, Specziár A, Tóth LG, Padisák J (2007) Updating water quality targets for shallow Lake Balaton (Hungary), recovering from eutrophication. Hydrobioligia 581:305–318

  18. Istvánovics V (1988) Seasonal variation of phosphorus release from the sediments of shallow lake Balaton (Hungary). Water Res 12:1473–1481

  19. Kovács J, Hatvani IG, Korponai J, Székely Kovács I (2010) Morlet wavelet and autocorrelation analysis of long term data series of the Kis-Balaton water protection system (KBWPS). Ecol Eng 36:1469–1477

  20. Kovács J, Korponai J, Székely Kovács I, Hatvani IG (2012) Introducing sampling frequency estimation using variograms in water research with the example of nutrient loads in the Kis-Balaton water protection system (W Hungary). Ecol Eng 42:237–243

  21. Leopold LR, Clark FA, Henshaw BR, Balsey JR (1971) A procedure for evaluating environmental impact. U.S. Geological Survey Circular 645

  22. Lin J, Zhan Y, Zhu Z (2011) Evaluation of sediment capping with active barrier systems (ABS) using calcite/zeolite mixtures to simultaneously manage phosphorus and ammonium release. Sci Total Environ 409:638–646

  23. Ljung K, Maley F, Cook A (2010) Canal estate development in an acid sulfate soil—implications for human metal exposure. Landsc Urban Plan 97:123–131

  24. Lürling M, Mackay E, Reitzel K, Spears BM (2016) Editorial—A critical perspective on geo-engineering for eutrophication management in lakes. Water Res 97:1–10

  25. Manap N, Voulvoulis N (2016) Data analysis for environmental impact of dredging. J Clean Prod 137:394–404

  26. Mezősi G (2011) Geography of Hungary academic publisher. Budapest, Hungary (in Hungarian)

  27. Mika J, Varga G, Pálfy L, Bonta I, Bálint G (2010) Could circulation anomalies cause the strong water deficit of Lake Balaton in 2000–2003? Phys Chem Earth 35:2–10

  28. MEPWM (2015) Information and guide system of Lake Balaton and Lake of Velence, Ministry of Environmental Protection and water. Management, Ministry of Health http://www.kvvm.hu/balaton/lang_hu/balweb.htm. Accessed 27 June 2017 (in Hungarian)

  29. MEW (2005) State of the environment in Hungary. Ministry of Environment and Water, Budapest Hungary. isbn:963-7048-18-9

  30. Mostefa G, Ahmed K (2012) Treatment of water supplies by the technique of dynamic aeration. Procedia Eng 33:209–214

  31. NEIS (2016) Surface water quality monitoring points and measurement data (1994–2014). National Environmental Information System Hungarian Government, http://web.okir.hu/sse/?group=FEVISZ&lang=en, Accessed 12 September 2016

  32. Németh J, Sebestyén V, Juzsakova T, Domokos E, Dióssy L, Cuong LP, Huszka P, Rédey Á (2017) Methodology development on aquatic environmental assessment. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24:11126–11140

  33. Öllős G (1987) Water supply. Vízügyi Ddokumentációs Szolgáltató Leányvállalat, Budapest (in Hungarian)

  34. Osgood RA (1988) Lake mixes and internal phosphorus dynamics. Arch Hydrobiol 113:629–638

  35. Palmer SCJ, Odermatt D, Hunter PD, Brockmann C, Présing M, Balzter H, Tóth VR (2015) Satellite remote sensing of phytoplankton phenology in Lake Balaton using 10 years of MERIS observations. Remote Sens Environ 158:41–452

  36. Polyák K, Hlavay J (2005) Development of a monitoring network on Lake Balaton. Hungary Microchem J 79:137–143

  37. Pregun C, Juhász C (2011) Water resources management and water quality protection. University of Debrecen, Hungary

  38. Quevauviller P (2007) Water protection against pollution. Environ Sci Pollut Res 14:297–307

  39. RBMPs (2015) General directorate of water management, 2nd River Basin Management plans. Accessed 27 June 2017 (in Hungarian)

  40. Rill T (2007) Water level control through Sió Channel, http://wwwsiocsatornahu/vizrajz/vizengedes Accessed: 27 June 2017 (in Hungarian)

  41. Robu B (2005) Environmental impact and risk assessment for industrial activities. EcoZone Press, Romania

  42. Somlyódy L (1998) Eutrophication modeling, management and decision making: the Kis-Balaton case. Water Sci Technol 37:165–175

  43. Spears BM, Mackay EB, Yasseri S, Gunn IDM, Waters KE, Andrews C, Cole S, De Ville M, Kelly A, Meis S, Moore AL, Nürnberg GK, van Oosterhout F, Pitt JA, Madgwick G, Woods HJ, Lürling M (2016) A meta-analysis of water quality and aquatic macrophyte responses in 18 lakes treated with lanthanum modified bentonite (Phoslock®). Water Res 97:111–121

  44. Szilassi P, Gy J, van Rompaey A, Csillag G (2006) Impacts of historical land use changes on erosion and agricultural soil properties in the Kali Basin at Lake Balaton. Hungary Catena 68:96–108

  45. Thomson MA (1990) Determining impact significance in EIA: a review of 24 methodologies. J Environ Manag 30:235–250

  46. Torma P (2015) Numerical modeling tasks in Transdanubia, VEAB presentation, 10 February 2015 (in Hungarian)

  47. Torma P, Krámer T (2017a) Modelling the effect of waves on the diurnal temperature stratification of a shallow Lake. Period Polytech Civil Eng 61:165–175. https://doi.org/10.3311/PPci.8883

  48. Torma P, Krámer T (2017b) Wind shear stress interpolation over Lake surface from routine weather data considering the IBL development. Period. Polytech. Civil Eng. 61:14–26

  49. Tóth L (1972) Reeds control eutrophication of Balaton Lake. Water Res 6:1533–1539

  50. Tóth L (2010) Science – pseudoscience – scientific mistake? Part 5: the water level!. Balaton Limnological Institute Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Tihany, http://www.bli.okologia.mta.hu/sites/default/files/Altudomany_2010_07.pdf. Accessed 27 June 2017 (in Hungarian)

  51. Utasi A (2015) Advanced environmental impact assessment method. University of Pannonia, Veszprém, Hungary, Dissertation (in Hungarian)

  52. Varga G, Pappné Urbán J (2007) Extremes in the water balance of Lake Balaton 2000–2003. VITUKI, Institute of Hydrology Budapest http://geography.hu/mfk2004/mfk2004/cikkek/varga_gyorgy.pdf. (in Hungarian)

  53. VWF (2012) Pond aeration and lake restoration case studies, vertex water features lake aeration Systems & Floating Fountains. FL, USA. http://www.vertexwaterfeatures.com/aeration/pond-aeration-and-lake-restoration-case-studies. Accessed 27 June 2017

  54. Waajen G, van Oosterhout F, Douglas G, Lürling M (2016) Geo-engineering experiments in two urban ponds to control eutrophication. Water Res 97:69–82

  55. Wen D, Ho YS, Tang X (2006) Comparative sorption kinetic studies of ammonium onto zeolite. J Hazard Mater 133:252–256

  56. WFD (2000) Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for community action in the field of water policy. Off J Eur Communities L 327:1–72 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:5c835afb-2ec6-4577-bdf8-756d3d694eeb.0004.02/DOC_1&format=PDF. Accessed 27 June 2017

  57. Wu G, de Leeuw J, Skidmore AK, Prins HHT, Liu Y (2007) Concurrent monitoring of vessels and water turbidity enhances the strength of evidence in remotely sensed dredging impact assessment. Water Res 41:3271–3280

  58. Yamada TM, Sueitt APE, Beraldo DAS, Botta CMR, Fadini PS, Nascimento MRL, Faria BM, Mozeto AA (2012) Calcium nitrate addition to control the internal load of phosphorus from sediments of a tropical eutrophic reservoir: microcosm experiments. Water Res 46:6463–6475

  59. Yasseri S, Epe TS (2016) Analysis of the La:P ratio in lake sediments—vertical and spatial distribution assessed by a multiple-core survey. Water Res 95:96–100

  60. Zhang Y, Angelidaki I (2012) Bioelectrode-based approach for enhancing nitrate and nitrite removal and electricity generation from eutrophic lakes. Water Res 46:6445–6453

  61. Zhao Y, Yang Z, Xia X, Wang F (2012) A shallow lake remediation regime with Phragmites australis: incorporating nutrient removal and water evapotranspiration. Water Res 46:5635–5644

  62. Zhu T, Zeng S, Qin H, Zhou K, Yang H, Lan F, Huang F, Cao J, Müller C (2016) Low nitrate retention capacity in calcareous soil under woodland in the karst region of southwestern China. Soil Biol Biochem 97:99–101

Download references


We acknowledge the financial support of Széchenyi 2020 under the GINOP-2.3.2-15-2016-00016.

Author information

Correspondence to Vitkor Sebestyén.

Additional information

Responsible editor: Kenneth Mei Yee Leung

Electronic supplementary material


(PDF 274 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Sebestyén, V., Németh, J., Juzsakova, T. et al. Aquatic environmental assessment of Lake Balaton in the light of physical-chemical water parameters. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 25355–25371 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-0163-3

Download citation


  • Evaluation algorithm
  • Physical-chemical water parameters
  • Water quality
  • Water quality improvement
  • Lake Balaton
  • IDW-GIS-based assessment