Original Research

Variations in selected water quality variables and metal concentrations in the sediment of the lower Olifants and Selati rivers, South Africa

T. Seymore, H.H. du Preez, J.H.J. van Vuren, A. Deacon, G. Strydom
Koedoe | Vol 37, No 2 | a334 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v37i2.334 | © 1994 T. Seymore, H.H. du Preez, J.H.J. van Vuren, A. Deacon, G. Strydom | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 August 1994 | Published: 27 August 1994

About the author(s)

T. Seymore, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa
H.H. du Preez, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa
J.H.J. van Vuren, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa
A. Deacon, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa
G. Strydom, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa

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Abstract

A survey of the water and sediment quality of the lower Olifants River and lower Selati River was carried out. Metal concentrations (Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sr and Zn) in the water and sediment, as well as the physical and chemical characteristics of the water were determined over a two-year period (April 1990 - February 1992). The water quality of the lower Selati River, which flows through the Phalaborwa area, was found to be influenced by the mining and industrial activities in the area. It was also the case with the lower Olifants River after the Selati-Olifants confluence, although the concentrations of most variables did decrease from the western side of the Kruger National Park to the eastern side due to dilution of the water by tributaries of the Olifants River. Variables of special concern were sodium, fluoride. chloride, sulphate, potassium, the total dissolved salts and the metal concentrations (except strontium). The water quality of the Selati River in the study area is a great cause of concern and a further degradation thereof cannot be afforded.

Keywords

water quality, sediment, metals

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