Applied Environmental Research

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Water pollution has become an alarming threat to human society and natural ecosystems. Evaluation of water quality and its variations is essential for water quality management. This study aimed to analyze the spatial and temporal variations of water quality parameters and their interrelationship to support the current water quality monitoring system of U-tapao river. The data of physico-chemical and biological parameters namely: temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, suspended solid, turbidity, biological oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, and fecal coliform bacteria were collected from twenty-one monitoring stations of the basin from year 2004 to 2011. Analysis of variance, correlation analysis, and principal component analysis were used to find the variations and interrelationship of water quality parameters and sources of pollution of river, respectively. Temperature and dissolved oxygen showed significant variation both on spatial and annual level. Temperature, turbidity, fecal coliform bacteria, and ammonia showed significant seasonal variation. In addition, temperature had significant positive correlation with biological oxygen demand but significant negative correlation with dissolved oxygen. Dissolved oxygen had significant positive correlation with pH but significant negative correlation with biological oxygen demand, suspended solid and ammonia. From the principal component analysis, organic pollutant came from agricultural, household and industrial sectors whereas nutrient pollutant came from agricultural based activities. Therefore, analysis of water quality parameters revealed that U-tapao river is relatively polluted and needs monitoring to effectively solve the pollution problems. For effective river monitoring systems, knowledge of variations of water quality parameters and their interrelationship could be used to identify and mitigate the pollution of the river.

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