The main object of this research is to assess the water quality of Shatt Al-Arab River and its suitability for various purposes − + + +2 near power plants (Hartha and Najibia) through physical and chemical analysis [temperature, pH, EC, Cl, Na, K, Ca , +2 − − −2 + + − Mg, HCO, NO , SO, Fe , total alkalinity, total hardness, biological oxygen demand (BOD), NH , and NO ] 3 3 4 5 4 2 using water quality index (WQI), organic pollution index (OPI), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), and percentage of sodium ion (Na%) during the dry season (August, 2016) and the wet season (January, 2017). WQI of Shatt Al-Arab falls under very poor quality during summer season, while it ranges from very poor quality to unsuitable for drinking purposes during winter season. There is a clear effect of power plants on water quality. Hartha and Najibia power plants contribute to the deterioration of water quality by increasing the percentage ratio of WQI near these plants by 13.22 and 9.69%, respectively, compared to the north sites of these plants during summer season. The percentage ratios of increased WQI near Hartha and Najibia power plants compared to the north sites of these plants are 17.93 and 15.92%, respectively, during winter season. Water quality of Shatt Al-Arab falls under a high level of organic pollution during the summer and winter seasons. There is a slight effect by the power plants on the OPI. Hartha and Najibia power plants contributed to the change of the OPI by 10% compared to the north site of Hartha power plant. According to the comparison between the SAR values which represent the suitability of water for serve irrigation purposes and SAR values of Shatt Al-Arab, all sites lie in the first class (excellent). According to Na %, the type of surface water in the studied area lies in good class during winter season and permissible class during summer season. Keywords Hartha · Najibia · Power plant · Shatt Al-Arab River · WQI · OPI Introduction systems has been reported due to the rapid development of industries, agriculture, and urbanization (Vié et al. 2009). Water is one of the most important natural sources for the The hydrological system of the rivers and its quality are sub- continuation of life. Fresh water is a source of life in various ject to continuous changes due to the construction of dams, environments, especially in the arid and semi-arid regions reservoirs, and industrial structures. Prevailing local condi- like Iraq. Rivers are considered to be the most important tions such as the climate and quality of the rocks lead to a source of fresh water, which is the main source of water change in water quality from one region to another. Surface for drinking, agriculture, and industry. Over the past dec- water quality has become an important and sensitive issue ade, widespread water quality degradation in inland water in many countries, due to concern that fresh water will be a scarce resource in the future, and therefore, the water quality monitoring program is essential for the protection of fresh- * Ali H. Al-Aboodi water resources (Pesce and Wunderlin 2000). Water systems firstname.lastname@example.org monitoring programs play an important role in monitoring Sarmad A. Abbas water quality, because it is necessary to determine the degree email@example.com of contamination and the effect of water quality on its use Husham T. Ibrahim for different purposes (Almeida et al. 2007). firstname.lastname@example.org WQI aims to understand the overall state of the water Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, quality and has been applied to both the surface water and University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq Vol.:(0123456789) 1 3 64 Page 2 of 10 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:64 groundwater quality evaluation around the world since the to the waterway after increasing its temperature and being past few decades (Sanjib Kumar and Chakrabarty 2007; polluted with chemical compounds. Also, the pollution came Khwakaram et al. 2012; Ravikumar et al. 2013; Bhutiani from discharging of industrial wastes and chemical materi- et al. 2014; Kirubakaran et al. 2015; Yaseen et al. 2015; Puri als used for treatment of inlet water. The object of this study et al. 2015; Krishan et al. 2016; Bora and Goswami 2017; is to assess the water quality near the power plants (Hartha Shah and Joshi 2017; Wagh et al. 2017; Kangabam et al. and Najibia) through physical and chemical analysis using 2017). The main object of WQI development is to convert a WQI and organic pollution index (OPI) during the dry sea- complex set of water quality data into clear and useful infor- son (DS) (August, 2016) and the wet season (WS) (January, mation which enables decision-makers to make the decision 2017). easily about the state of the water source (Akoteyon et al. 2011; Balan et al. 2012). WQI helps to give one value to the water quality from a source of physical and chemical Description of the study area parameters by converting the list of parameters and their concentrations to a single value, which in turn provides a Shatt Al-Arab is a river in Basrah Province, southern Iraq. broad explanation of water quality and suitability for dif- It is located between longitude lines (47°30′ and 48°30′) ferent purposes such as drinking, irrigation, and industrial. and latitude lines (30°00′ and 30°30′). Rainfall usually (Abbasi and Abbasi 2012). There are three stages in order starts in October and lasts until May; the maximum rain- to calculate the WQI (U.S. EPA 2009): (1) measure the indi- fall value is obtained in January, while its vanished dur- vidual indicators of water quality, (2) convert the measure- ing the summer. Basrah Province is one of the hottest cities ments to a subindex to represent them on a common scale, on the planet during the summer season, with temperature and (3) compile the values of the individual subindex into exceeding 45 °C in July (Al-Aboodi 2016). Winter frost is an overall WQI value. not unknown. However, the climate is healthy and accept- There are several studies conducted on the water qual- able. Relative humidity may exceed 90%, due to the location ity of the Shatt Al-Arab Canal. Abdullah (2013) presented of Basrah City near the Arabian Gulf. Shatt Al-Arab River a study to evaluate the heavy metal pollution index (HPI) is formed by the confluence of the Euphrates and the Tigris and metal index (MI) for evaluating the source of heavy River in Qurna City, north of Basrah Province. The width metal; the mean HPI is equal to (8.33), and this value is less of this river ranges from about 232 meters in center of Bas- than the critical value of pollution index (100). The result of rah City to 800 meters in its mouth, and the length of this the MI indicates that the river is pure with respect to heavy river is about 200 km. Many factories and industrial plants metal pollution. Moyel (2014) used principal component have been established on the banks of the Shatt Al-Arab, analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) for the assessment and these industrial factories consume large quantities of of the water quality data set. The results show that PCA and water for industrial purposes and cooling processes. There CA techniques are useful tools for identifying important sta- are two power plants (Hartha and Najibia). Hartha power tions and parameters for monitoring the surface water qual- plant is located on the west bank of the Shatt Al-Arab River, ity. Moyel and Hussain (2015) conducted a study to assess where it is located about 28 km from the center of Basrah the suitability of the water quality for various purposes such Province as shown in Fig. 1. It consists of four thermal units; as aquatic life, drinking water supplies, and irrigation uses. the capacity of this unit is 200 MW/h. This power plant con- The results of this paper showed that the deterioration of the sumes about 74,000 m /h of water. For studying the ee ff ct of water quality is due to the decrease in the discharge of fresh Hartha power plant on water quality indices, three sites were water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the decrease in selected for water sampling: the first one is located in front annual rainfall rates, and an advancing salt wedge from the of the power plant (S1), the second one located (1000 m) Arabian Gulf. Yaseen et al. (2016) presented a study for north of the power plant (S2), and the third is located evaluating the factors affecting the change of river discharge (1000 m) south of the power plant (S3). Najibia power plant value and the deterioration of water quality. The results is located on the west bank of the Qarmat Ali River, where showed that the high salinity in the Shatt Al-Arab is due to it is located about 10 km from the center of Basrah Province. natural factors, including climate change, domestic waste It consists of four thermal units; the capacity of this unit is water in the canal, and others related to the management of 240 MW/h. This power plant consumes about 34,000 m /h water resources and the policies of neighboring countries. of water. For studying the effect of Najibia power plant on The current study aims to evaluate the quality of the Shatt water quality indices, three sites were selected for water Al-Arab River near the power plants (Hartha and Najibia) sampling: the first one is located in front of the power plant and the effect of these plants on the water quality. As it is (S4), the second one located (1000 m) north of the power known, the electric power plants draw large quantities of plant, (S5) and the third is located at the confluence of Shatt water for the cooling purposes and then return this water Al-Arab River and Qarmat Ali River (S6). The water quality 1 3 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:64 Page 3 of 10 64 Fig. 1 Map of study area and location of Hartha and Najibia power plants of the river is related to water discharge because it is related are used to collect water samples taking into account not to the water levels, the amount of hydraulic gradient, and the to leave air bubbles. Water temperature was measured velocity of water current. The change in climatic conditions using a mercury thermometer, and electrical conductiv- in the river basin, which is characterized by low rainfall and ity (EC) and pH were measured in situ using a Lovipond increased evaporation, as well as the growth of water pro- multi-meter model Sensodirect 150. B OD was measured +2 +2 jects such as dams and reservoirs in neighboring countries according to the APHA (2005) method. Ca, Mg , and (Turkey, Syria, and Iran), led to a decrease in discharge rate total hardness (TH) were measured by ethylenediami- 3 3 from 919 m /s during 1977 to 38 m /s during 2015. All parts netetraacetic acid complexometric titration. Flame pho- of the Shatt Al-Arab are affected by the tide phenomenon. tometry has been used for measuring the concentration + + This phenomenon affects the quality of water as the salin-of Na, K and silver nitrate titrate has been used for ity of the river increases during the tide, which reaches the measuring the concentration of Cl . Method of barium north of Faw city. sulfate turbidity has been used for measuring the concen- −2 tration of SO . Total dissolved solids (TDS) are meas- ured using temperature-controlled oven. Alkalinity (TA) − − Sample preparation and analytical and HCO is measured by titration method. PO and 3 4 procedures NO concentration were measured by molybdate ascorbic acid method and cadmium reduction method, respectively; Six sites were selected to collect water samples from the also NO concentration has been measured by cadmium Shatt Al-Arab River during the DS (August, 2016) and reduction method. NH is measured by spectrophoto- the WS (January, 2017). Plastic bottles were used to col- metric method. Fe was measured by spectrophotometry lect water samples, which were fully filled and stored in a and atomic absorption spectrometry. The overall water refrigerated box until they were transferred to the labora- quality data of Shatt Al-Arab River were compared with tory. Transparent and dark Winkler bottles of 250–300 ml WHO (2011) guidelines for drinking water, in addition to 1 3 64 Page 4 of 10 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:64 Table 1 Water quality parameters values of Shatt Al-Arab River and comparative guidelines during the dry season (DS) Variable DS (mean ± SD) Drinking water Aquatic life S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 (WHO 2011) (CCME 2007) Temperature 42 ± 3.7 32 ± 3.2 31 ± 3.3 39 ± 3.9 32 ± 3.2 38 ± 3.3 pH 8.4 ± 0.31 8.3 ± 0.32 8.2 ± 0.30 8.1 ± 0.32 8 ± 0.33 8 ± 0.32 6.5–8.5 6.5–9 EC (µS/cm) 3450 ± 85.6 2340 ± 84.7 3092 ± 87.3 3781 ± 83.7 3750 ± 86.3 3880 ± 85.6 TDS (mg/l) 2065 ± 51.4 1480 ± 53.7 1980 ± 52.6 2752 ± 54.6 2377 ± 55.3 2441 ± 53.9 1000 − a Cl (mg/l) 331 ± 19.6 340 ± 18.8 519 ± 20.1 524 ± 18.7 232 ± 20.6 534 ± 23.6 250 120 Na (mg/l) 375 ± 26.7 260 ± 29.3 346 ± 24.8 323 ± 23.9 341 ± 27.6 432 ± 28.6 200 K (mg/l) 42.7 ± 2.4 71 ± 3.2 42 ± 3.6 43 ± 4.2 52 ± 3.9 121 ± 4.5 Ca (mg/l) 201 ± 23.8 122 ± 24.7 173 ± 25.6 125 ± 22.5 134 ± 22.7 152 ± 24.3 Mg (mg/l) 87 ± 9.6 84 ± 8.3 87 ± 7.4 101 ± 10.5 96 ± 8.6 111 ± 8.2 HCO (mg/l) 275 ± 39.2 325 ± 28.5 371 ± 36.4 364 ± 34.1 395 ± 33.6 373 ± 40.2 NO (µg/l) 3800 ± 980 3100 ± 789 2800 ± 875 2800 ± 995 2000 ± 832 2700 ± 848 11,000 2900 −2 SO (mg/l) 432 ± 15.6 412 ± 13.2 253 ± 14.6 169 ± 19.6 163 ± 15.8 156 ± 17.3 500 Fe (mg/l) 2.4 ± 0.14 1.8 ± 0.11 1.8 ± 0.19 2.1 ± 0.15 1.4 ± 0.13 2.5 ± 0.16 TA (mg/l) 245 ± 47.2 272 ± 45.8 319 ± 43.9 320 ± 44.8 332 ± 41.7 334 ± 48.5 TH (mg/l) 1127 ± 104.5 884 ± 99.4 1129 ± 89.3 1042 ± 86.5 1023 ± 77.3 1148 ± 86.2 500 BOD (mg/l) – 6 ± 0.76 – – – 7 ± 0.79 NH (µg/l) – 1400 ± 103.5 – – – 1500 ± 120.7 1235 187–473 NO (µg/l) – 900 ± 90.1 – – – 950 ± 99.4 900 60 PO (µg/l) – 1400 ± 120.6 – – – 1600 ± 130.7 According to CCME (2011) Table 2 Water quality parameters values of Shatt Al-Arab River and comparative guidelines during the wet season (WS) Variable WS (mean ± SD) Drinking water Aquatic life S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 (WHO 2011) (CCME 2007) Temperature 29 ± 2.1 17 ± 1.9 18 ± 1.8 26 ± 2.3 18 ± 1.9 18 ± 2.0 pH 8.3 ± 0.29 8.1 ± 0.27 7.8 ± 0.28 7.6 ± 0.26 7.9 ± 0.27 7.8 ± 0.31 6.5–8.5 6.5–9 EC (µS/cm) 3976 ± 77.9 2445 ± 73.2 3820 ± 75.2 4800 ± 79.3 4730 ± 77.7 5770 ± 80.5 TDS (mg/l) 2149 ± 43.5 1565 ± 39.6 2365 ± 43.9 3151 ± 44.7 3058 ± 38.7 3673 ± 44.7 1000 − a Cl (mg/l) 276 ± 15.4 283 ± 16.2 302 ± 13.9 211 ± 21.8 180 ± 18.6 183 ± 17.2 250 120 Na (mg/l) 225 ± 21.4 181 ± 29.3 228 ± 31.5 312 ± 28.7 264 ± 27.9 346 ± 31.7 200 K (mg/l) 123 ± 5.6 82 ± 4.8 67 ± 5.3 216 ± 6.2 167 ± 4.5 237 ± 4.9 Ca (mg/l) 254 ± 26.6 211 ± 25.2 245 ± 24.9 274 ± 27.3 222 ± 25.1 274 ± 28.3 Mg (mg/l) 118 ± 10.4 125 ± 11.2 154 ± 9.5 172 ± 9.3 152 ± 10.3 231 ± 11.6 HCO (mg/l) 215 ± 32.5 248 ± 27.5 231 ± 29.1 577 ± 33.6 479 ± 38.4 493 ± 35.3 NO (µg/l) 2400 + 778 2200 ± 645 1900 ± 698 1700 ± 976 1700 ± 945 1900 ± 703 11,000 2900 −2 SO (mg/l) 442 ± 14.9 398 ± 11.3 182 ± 17.4 465 ± 16.4 412 ± 15.9 472 ± 17.2 500 Fe (mg/l) 3.8 ± 0.13 3.5 ± 0.15 2.9 ± 0.11 2.7 ± 0.17 2.3 ± 0.16 2.9 ± 0.14 TA (mg/l) 205 ± 35.2 143 ± 30.2 108 ± 29.4 303 ± 31.6 261 ± 34.9 301 ± 32.6 TH (mg/l) 678 ± 78.6 848 ± 89.4 892 ± 99.3 787 ± 84.6 782 ± 77.4 814 ± 86.1 500 BOD (mg/l) – 2.4 ± 0.22 – – – 5 ± 0.31 NH (µg/l) – 1600 ± 111.3 – – – 1800 ± 120.5 1235 187–473 NO (µg/l) – 1200 ± 130.4 – – – 1300 ± 149.8 900 60 PO (µg/l) – 800 ± 80.6 – – – 900 ± 94.5 According to CCME (2011) 1 3 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:64 Page 5 of 10 64 aquatic life criteria endorsed by CCME (2007) as shown Table 3 The weight and relative weight of physical and chemical parameters (Ravikumar et al. 2013) in Tables 1 and 2. The sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) is determined in this Parameters BIS desirable Weight ( w ) Relative weight (W ) i i limit (1998) paper. It is an irrigation water quality parameter used in the management of sodium-affected soils. Also, percentage of pH 8.5 3 0.075 Na is calculated in this research for studying the suitability EC (µS/cm) 2000 3 0.075 of Shatt Al-Arab water for irrigation purposes. TDS (mg/l) 1000 5 0.125 It is important to find sodium concentration in the water Cl (mg/l) 250 3 0.075 when using this water for irrigation purposes; sodium has Na (mg/l) 100 3 0.075 a bad effect on soil structure. For evaluating the suitability K (mg/l) 10 2 0.05 of water for irrigation purposes, the SAR is calculated as Ca (mg/l) 75 2 0.05 follows: Mg (mg/l) 30 2 0.05 HCO (mg/l) 200 2 0.05 Na 3 SAR = +2 +2 NO (µg/l) 45 5 0.125 Ca +Mg . (1) −2 SO (mg/l) 200 3 0.075 Fe (mg/l) 0.3 2 0.05 (Cations expressed as meq∕l). TA (mg/l) 200 2 0.05 TH (mg/l) 300 3 0.075 In the other direction, most of the specifications con- ∑ ∑ w = 40 W = 1 i i firmed that the percentage of Na for irrigation purposes should not exceed 50–60 in order to avoid its deleterious effects on soil. Water is considered unsuitable for irrigation when percentage of sodium exceeds 60. Percentage of Na 3. The (q ) of each parameter is calculated by dividing the can be calculated using the following formula: concentration of parameter on its standard value accord- Na ing to the guidelines laid down by BIS (1998) using Na%= × 100 Eq. 4. Ca + Mg + K + Na (2) 4. The quality subindex for each parameter (SI ) is calcu- (Cations expressed as meq∕l). lated by multiplying the relative weight of the parameter by its (q ) using Eq. 5. 5. WQI is calculated by summing all over quality subindex Water quality index (WQI) for each parameter using Eq. 6. WQI is one of the most important and powerful tools for providing water quality information to the consumers and W = , i n (3) decision-makers. It provides a clear picture for the surface n=1 water and groundwater quality for different purposes uses; where W is the relative weight, w is the weight of each i i also WQI is defined as a classification that reflects the com- chemical parameter, and n is the number of parameters. bined effect of different water quality parameters (Sahu and Sikdar 2008). Fourteen physical and chemical parameters V − V n i q = × 100, (4) (pH, EC, TDS, Cl, Na, K, Ca, Mg, HCO, NO, SO , Fe, V − V 3 3 4 s i TA, and TH) were selected according to their importance in where q is the quality rating, V is the actual amount of nth water quality as shown in Table 3. The following steps are i n parameter present, V is the ideal value of parameter (V = 0, i i used for calculating WQI. except for pH (V = 7)), and V is the Indian drinking water i s standard (BIS 1998) for each chemical parameter. 1. The weight of each chemical parameter (w ) was deter- mined according to its impact on primary health and its SI = W q , (5) i i i relative importance for drinking purposes (Table 3). The where SI is the sub-index of ith parameter. highest weight was assigned to 5 that have significant effects on water quality such as NO and TDS. The mini- n mum weight is two for parameters that are considered WQI = SI . (6) i=1 harmless for example (Mg, Ca, K, and TA). 2. Calculate the relative weight (Wi) of each parameter using Eq. 3. 1 3 64 Page 6 of 10 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:64 The permissible value of pH in natural water is usually Organic pollution index (OPI) between 6.5 and 9 as shown in WHO (2011) guidelines for drinking water, in addition to aquatic life criteria endorsed Domestic wastewater and industrial wastewater contain a by CCME (2007). pH is closely related to water solubility large amount of organic matters in various forms. The degra- and chemical form, and has a significant impact on aquatic dation of organic compounds in water requires large amounts life activities. All studied sites fall within the acceptable of dissolved oxygen; therefore, oxygen imbalance occurs. range, where the water quality of the river tends to be The decomposition of organic matter leads to the deteriora- slightly alkaline. tion in water quality and death of fish and other aquatic life Conductivity is using as indirect prediction for the total due to lack of oxygen. Oxygen consumed by organic mat- concentration of ions in water. The reason for increasing the ters is used to estimate the content of organic material in electrical conductivity (EC) near the power plants is due water indirectly, and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD ) to the use of large amounts of water for cooling purposes, is one of the effective indicators to estimate the amount of resulting high concentration of salts due to evaporation. TDS organic matter. Several types of wastewater sources such in water originate from natural sources, wastewater, urban as domestic, hospitals, laboratories, fuel stations and power runoff, agricultural and industrial wastewater, and chemical plants, this wastewater is contaminated with toxic sub- materials used in the water treatment process. TDS concen- stances and organic matter, which leads to the phenomenon tration is an alternative expression for the sum of cations of eutrophication. The phenomenon of eutrophication leads and anions in water. Therefore, the total TDS test provides to a decrease in the level of oxygen in water and loss of a qualitative measure of the amount of dissolved ions. The biological diversity (Vousta et al. 2001). Four parameters TDS of water increase with increasing the level of ions con- (BOD, NH, NO , and PO ) are selected for evaluating 5 4 2 4 − + + +2 +2 − centration such as Cl , Na, K, Ca, Mg, HCO , and OPI (Guasmi et al. 2010). For evaluating the effect of power −2 SO . The effect of power plants on these ions is low or plants (Hartha and Najibia) on OPI in Shatt Al-Arab River, slight (the highest increase for the concentration of Ca two sites are selected for sampling water: the first one is about 39.3% in DS, while increase for the concentration of located (1000 m) north of the Hartha power plant (S2), while K about 33.3% in WS). There are other reasons for increas- the second one is located at the confluence of Shatt Al-Arab ing concentration of salts near the power plants in addition River and Qarmat Ali River (S6) during the DS (August, to the impact of these plants as mentioned earlier: freshwater 2016) and the WS (January, 2017) (see Tables 1 and 2). input discharge in the upper stream of the Shatt Al-Arab River from Tigris and Euphrates River tends to decrease specially at the end of summer season and starting of winter season. This decline in fresh water flow during this period, Results and discussion combined with the intrusion of a salt wedge from the Ara- bian Gulf, has led to an increased concentration of these The seasonal quality of Shatt Al-Arab River is shown in parameters, particularly in terms of TDS. The diversion Tables 1 and 2 during summer season (August, 2016) and of the Karun River across Iranian territory, which was an the winter season (January, 2017). The quality parameters important source of fresh water entering the Shatt Al-Arab, were compared with WHO (2011) guideline for drinking has reduced the ability of rivers to act as natural barriers to purposes, in addition to aquatic life standards submitted by the intrusion of the salt wedge front from the Arabian Gulf. CCME (2007). Physical and chemical parameters are related Increasing temperatures and hot climate especially in sum- with water temperature value. The solubility of soluble gases mer season lead to increase evaporation and concentration in water (e.g., oxygen, carbon dioxide, etc.), biological and of salts in the River. According to comparison between the microbial activity in water, non-ionic ammonia, salinity, and acceptable value of TDS specified by WHO (2011) guide- pH are subject to changes in water temperature (Rubio-Arias lines for drinking water and TDS stations value during DS et al. 2013). The increase in the temperature of water near and WS, all TDS values exceeded the standard limit. the power plants is due to the discharge of hot water after Cl is present in both freshwater and saline, which is the cooling process inside the plant. There is an increase essential element of life. Cl in the environment comes in the temperature of water up to 30% during summer sea- from sodium chloride or other chloride salts such as mag- son and up to 45% during winter season in front of plant nesium chloride, calcium chloride, and potassium chloride. compared with other sites. The migration, reproduction, and The reason for the presence of chlorides in surface water effectiveness of fish are closely related to the temperature is also wastewater or sewage pollution. Cl also comes of the water because the fish are cold blooded and take on from primary treatment of inlet water with ferric chloride the temperature of their surroundings (Larnier et al. 2010). which is used as a coagulant in flocculation and sedimenta- tion process. There are two main reasons for the increased 1 3 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:64 Page 7 of 10 64 concentration of chloride ion near power plants: the first one DS. The main source of F e is ferric chloride and corrosion is the progress of the saline water front from the Arabian from power plants. Gulf due to the reduction of river discharge in upstream, and Natural alkalinity is transferred to water sources mainly the second one is the increase in the evaporation process in by the salts of weak acids such as carbonate, bicarbonate, locations close to the power plants, leading to a high concen- silicate, borax, phosphate, and humic and fulvic acid salts. A tration of ions. There are some sites that did not exceed the few industrial effluents, such as calcium hydroxide from the limits allowed by the specifications, but the greatest number cement plant, and sodium hydroxide from soap manufactur- of examined sites exceeded the range limits by WHO (2011) ing, contribute to water alkalinity. Alkalinity is not reported in addition to aquatic life criteria endorsed by CCME (2007). for harmful drinking water but generally 100 mg/l is desirable + + +2 The major cations and anions such as Na, K, Ca , for drinking water (Nirmala et al. 2012). In this study, none of +2 − −2 Mg, HCO , and SO were measured during summer and the alkaline samples were analyzed in the specified range and 3 4 winter season as shown in Tables 1 and 2. It is clear that therefore required appropriate treatments prior to use. + +2 − −2 the concentration of N a, Ca, HCO , and SO remained In this study, all samples from the six sites have hard- 3 4 dominant in the Shatt Al-Arab River during dry and WS. ness greater than 600 mg/l. Hardness during DS (summer) Calcium and magnesium exist in surface water and ground- is greater than WS (winter) which may be attributed to high water mainly as carbonates and bicarbonates. The main rates of evaporation and low water level. WHO (2011) has source of magnesium is the flow of sewage and minerals prescribed 500 mg/l as the desirable limit for drinking water. generated from soil erosion (Ramesh and Seetha 2013). Therefore, none of the hardness samples were analyzed in the Calcium and magnesium, along with bicarbonate, carbon- specified range and therefore required appropriate treatments ate, sulfate, and other species, contribute to the hardness before to supply. of natural water. Calcium concentration in surface water After comparing Table 4 which represents the suitability of is usually less than 15 (mg/l) and it can rise to 100 (mg/l) water for serve irrigation purposes depending on SAR values where this water passes through carbonate-rich rocks (Nir- with Table 5 which represents SAR values of Shatt Al Arab, mala et al. 2012). Magnesium concentrations range from all sites lie in the first class (excellent). 1 to more than 50 (mg/l) depending on the types of rocks The values of Na% in Shatt Al-Arab River lie between within the watershed (Nirmala et al. 2012). It is clear that 25.54 and 48.64% during DS and WS as shown in Table 6, and +2 +2 the concentrations of both ions (Ca and Mg ) in Shatt Al- after its comparison with Table 7 one may suggest that the type Arab River have exceeded permissible limits. It is obvious of surface water in the studied area lies in good class during that the concentration of Na was the most dominant than winter season and permissible class during summer season. other cations (> 200 mg/l), making the water unsuitable for The values of the WQI of Shatt Al-Arab River at six tested domestic use (BIS 1998). A higher concentration of N a in sites during dry and wet season are presented in Table 8. The −2 the surface water is attributed to the sewage pollution. SO variation of WQI with respect to location of tested site during is one of the major anions occurring in natural water. WHO DS and WS is illustrated in Fig. 2. (2011) has prescribed 500 mg/l as the desirable limit for It can be seen that the Shatt Al-Arab River has WQI ranging drinking water. All sites did not exceed the desirable limit of from 204.44 at the north of Hartha power plant (S2) to 282.25 −2 SO for drinking water during dry and WS. There is a slight at the confluence of Shatt Al-Arab River and Qarmat Ali River increase in major ion concentrations near power plants and (S6) during summer season, while it has WQI ranging from this increase is attributed to the cooling process by power 236.01 at the south of Hartha power plant (S3) to 385.02 at the plants, hot water discharge to the river, and high evaporation confluence of Shatt Al-Arab River and Qarmat Ali River (S6) due to high water temperature, such as the increase of con- during winter season. The WQI was classified according to the + +2 −2 centration for N a, Ca , and SO near the Hartha power scale suggested by Ramakrishnaiah et al. (2009) and Mohanty plant compared with the north site by 30.6, 39.3, and 4.6%, (2004) as shown in Table 9. Based on these classifications, the respectively. water quality of Shatt Al-Arab falls under very poor quality Nitrate concentrations of up to 1700 (µg/l) have been during summer season, while the water quality of Shatt Al- reported for all tested sites of Shatt Al-Arab River where Arab ranges from very poor quality to unsuitable for drinking municipal wastewater flows into surface water. A large amount use during winter season. There is a clear effect by the power of nitrates in drinking water causes methemoglobinemia in bottle-fed infants. WHO has recommended the guideline value Table 4 Suggests limits of SAR for irrigation purposes (Ravikumar for drinking water of 11,000 (µg/l). The concentration of F e et al. 2013) was found to be high in Shatt Al-Arab water samples collected from different six sampling sites. Variation in iron in collected Grade Excellent Good Fair Poor water sample was 3.80 mg/l near to the Hartha power plant SAR 0–10 10–18 18–26 > 26 during WS to 1.4 mg/l north of Najibia power plant during 1 3 64 Page 8 of 10 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:64 Table 5 SAR values of Shatt SAR Al-Arab River during dry season (DS) and wet season S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 (WS) DS 5.59 4.39 5.16 5.28 5.27 9.63 WS 2.88 2.31 2.73 3.75 2.96 5.75 Table 6 Na% values of Shatt Na% Al-Arab River during dry season (DS) and wet season S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 (WS) DS 47.12 43.24 47.10 47.27 48.21 48.64 WS 28.87 25.54 27.11 28.87 29.14 27.94 Table 7 Water class based on Na percentage ratio (Wilcox 1995) plants on the quality of Shatt Al-Arab water. It is possible to note the deterioration of water quality of Shatt Al-Arab water Class Excellent Good Permissible Doubtful Unsuitable by increasing the WQI near the power plants. The percent- Na% < 20 20–40 40–60 60–80 > 80 age ratios of increased WQI near Hartha and Najibia power plants compared to the north sites of these plants are 13.22 Table 8 WQI values of Shatt WQI Al-Arab River during dry season (DS) and wet season S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 (WS) DS 231.48 204.44 216.64 225.95 205.99 282.25 WS 279.55 237.04 236.01 349.63 301.60 385.02 400 Table 10 Class limits of organic pollution index (Benkhedda et al. DS 2014) WS + − − BOD (mg/l) NH (mg/l) NO (µg/l) PO (µg/l) 5 4 2 4 Class 5 < 2 < 0.1 ≤5 ≤15 Class 4 2–5 0.1–0.9 6–10 16–75 Class 3 5.1–10 1.0–2.4 11–50 76–250 Class 2 10.1–15 2.5–6.0 51–150 251–900 250 Class 1 > 15 > 6 > 150 > 900 S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 and 9.69%, respectively, during summer season. The percent- age ratios of increased WQI near Hartha and Najibia power Fig. 2 Spatio-temporal variation in WQI for Shatt Al-Arab River plant compared to the north sites of these plants are 17.93 and 15.92%, respectively, during winter season. OPI was developed by classifying the quality parameters Table 9 Water quality scale (BOD5, NH4, NO2, and PO4) into five classes (Table 10). Water quality WQI (Ramakrishnaiah et al. WQI Depending on parameters values, the class of each parameter 2009) (Mohanty is determined. The average of all classes is calculated and 2004) then compared with tabulated value (Table 11). Excellent < 50 < 50 Four parameters (B OD, NH, NO , and PO ) are selected 5 4 2 4 Good 50–100 50–100 for evaluating OPI. For determining the effect of power Poor 100–200 100–200 plants (Hartha and Najibia) on OPI of Shatt Al-Arab River, Very poor 200–300 200–300 two tested sites are selected for sampling water: the first one Unsuitable > 300 > 300 is located (1000 m) north of the Hartha power plant (S2), 1 3 Applied Water Science (2018) 8:64 Page 9 of 10 64 Table 11 Water quality class during summer season. WQI of Shatt Al-Arab falls Average class Level of status based on average class under very poor quality during summer season, while it organic pol- (Benkhedda et al. 2014) lution ranges from very poor quality to unsuitable for drinking purposes during winter season. There is a clear effect of 5.0–4.6 Zero power plants on water quality. Hartha and Najibia power 4.5–4.0 Low plants contribute to increasing the percentage ratios of WQI 3.9–3.0 Moderate by 13.22 and 9.69%, respectively, during summer season 2.9–2.0 High compared to the north sites of these plants. The percent- 1.9–1.0 Very high age ratios of increased WQI near Hartha and Najibia power plants compared to the north sites of these plants are 17.93 and 15.92%, respectively, during winter season. Water qual- Table 12 OPI values of Shatt ity in the Shatt Al-Arab falls under a high level of organic OPI Al-Arab River during dry pollution during the summer and winter. There is a slight season (DS) and wet season S2 S6 effect by the power plants on the OPI. (WS) DS 2 2 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Crea- WS 2.5 2.25 tive Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creat iveco mmons.or g/licenses/b y/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribu- tion, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate and another one is located at the confluence of Shatt Al-Arab credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. River and Qarmat Ali River (S6). 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Published: Apr 20, 2018
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