Exceptional natural value of karst rivers, as well as their potential as a source of drinking water supply, contributes to the importance of developing strict environmental protection. Although most of its watercourse is proclaimed national park, Krka River is impacted by technological and municipal wastewaters, which are released without proper purification only 2 km upstream of the park border. In order to assess water ecological status of the Krka River, vulnerability of karst ecosystem and potential threat to the Krka National Park, spatial and temporal variability of physico-chemical and microbiological water parameters, as well as concentrations of 25 total dissolved metals/metalloids were evaluated. All parameters indicated deteriorated water quality near the wastewater influences, which was for certain metals and bacterial counts even comparable to other world rivers of technological/rural catchment. Downstream location pointed to purification processes in karst river, although nutrients and conductivity were still in a range below good water quality and Al, Co, Fe, Li, Mn, Ni, Sr, Ti, and Zn levels remained comparable to their levels in the pollution impacted area, especially in autumn, indicating season-dependent processes. Presented data provided background status and identified pollution influences in the karst riverine system which indicated potential risk for protected area and a need for comprehensive water quality assessment.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 2, 2017
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