Agricultural run-off and pollution in Imbang River, Negros Occidental
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This study determined the concentration of key pollutants carried by agricultural run-off from the drainage area of Imbang River, Negros Occidental over a two-year period. The quantities loaded into the river were estimated to assess the contribution of agriculture to the degradation of the river. Agricultural production in sugarcane and rice plantations in the area relied on chemicals to control pests and enhance production. Run-off from agricultural land contained an average 0.2 ppm phosphate, 0.2 ppm ammonia, 0.02 ppm nitrite, and 1.7 ppm nitrate from fertilizer inputs and other sources. The run-off also had 7.4 ppm biochemical oxygen demand, 465 ppm total solids, 296 ppm total suspended solids, 0.4 ppm settleable solids, plus traces of organochlorine pesticides. The concentrations of all these potential pollutants were not alarming or dangerous, although on occasion, some exceeded the tolerable limits. However, increasing reliance on fertilizers often leads to intensified use and related problems. Likewise, the continuing use of chemicals to control field pests is of serious concern given that residues are easily carried by run-off to the nearest waterway and passed on and magnified through the food chain. The health of farm workers who routinely handle these products is at risk. Apart from commercial fertilizers, farm lands received organic wastes from domestic and industrial sources. Most farmers maintained farm animals such as carabaos, goats, and sheep that were allowed to graze on the fields after crops had been harvested. Grazing animals frequently left surface deposits of manure. Some farmers on occasion used sugar mill wastes as fertilizers and road fillers in the haciendas. Moreover, household wastes including human excreta were commonly disposed on nearby fields. The contributions of animal and human wastes to the total load of nutrients could be substantial but difficult to quantify given the manner of production and the varying composition of the wastes. Indeed, agricultural run-off transports non-point pollutants from so many poorly defined sources.
Gonzales, G. A. (2008). Agricultural run-off and pollution in Imbang River, Negros Occidental. In T. U. Bagarinao (Ed.), Research Output of the Fisheries Sector Program (Vol. 2. Reports on Fisheries and Aquaculture, pp. 52-59). Quezon City, Philippines: Bureau of Agricultural Research, Department of Agriculture.
PublisherBureau of Agricultural Research, Department of Agriculture
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Water quality in Imbang river, Negros Occidental: effluents and pollutant loads from agriculture, sugar mills, households, and shrimp farms GA Gonzales, HJ Gonzales, RC Sanares & ET Taberna - In TU Bagarinao (Ed.), Research Output of the Fisheries Sector Program, 2007 - Bureau of Agricultural Research, Department of AgricultureAn ecological assessment of Imbang River in Negros Occidental was undertaken from December 1992 to February 1995. The effluents from sugar mills, households, shrimp farms, sugarcane plantations and rice fields were characterized and their pollutant loads estimated. Water quality and invertebrate assemblages were analyzed at several sites along the river to determine the environmental status. Results showed significant seasonal and site variations in water quality along Imbang River. The dry season, coinciding with the milling season, was the more critical time of the year as water quality tended to deteriorate. The segments of the river near the sugar mills and households had the poorest water quality. Sugar mill effluents had high water temperature (average 33oC but as high as 50oC), low dissolved oxygen, high total solids, the highest settleable solids (average 2.5 and as high as 17 m/l), and the highest biochemical oxygen demand (average 259 ppm but as high as 14,800 ppm BOD). Domestic effluents had low pH, high ammonia, very high BOD, plus detergents or surfactants and high levels of fecal coliform bacteria. Agricultural runoff had high nitrate, high total solids, and the highest total suspended solids (average 296 ppm but as high as 5,095 ppm TSS). Shrimp ponds used saline water of average 23 ppt, and had the highest total solids (average 23,456 ppm and as high as 57,400 ppm). By far the major contributor of pollutant loads into Imbang River was agriculture, due to its huge areal extent and huge volume of water use and run-off. Agricultural run-off carried the highest annual loads of 7,858 kg phosphate; 6,495 kg ammonia; 794 kg nitrite; 67,212 kg nitrate; 16,987 metric tons settleable solids; 16,800,000 mt total solids, and 11,890,000 mt total suspended solids; but only 297 mt BOD. Sugar mill effluents had the highest BOD load (1,583 mt/yr) and also had high nutrient loads. Household effluents contributed the second largest loads of solids next to agriculture, and also added surfactants (966 kg/yr) and fecal coliforms into the river. The six shrimp farms at the lower reaches of Imbang River were a minor contributor of pollutants into the river, annually adding about 891 kg ammonia; 1,077 kg phosphate; and 181,325 mt total solids.
Households, agriculture, industry, fishing, and fish farming along Imbang River, Negros Occidental RC Sanares - In T Bagarinao (Ed.), Research Output of the Fisheries Sector Program, 2007 - Bureau of Agricultural Research, Department of AgricultureInterviews were conducted among respondents identified from the households, agriculture farms, sugar mills, and fish farms along the whole stretch of Imbang River, Malisbog River, and Muyao Creek, down to Barangay Balaring at the coast of Silay City in Negros Occidental. Among the 1,073 households, 11% used river water for washing clothes, but 20% also used the rivers for disposal of waste waters, 11% for human wastes, and 13% for animal wastes. Among the 30 respondents from the agriculture sector, 70% discharged water into the river. The two sugar mills in the area treated waste waters partially before release into the rivers; one sugar mill also released wastes in a nearby rice field. Milling wastes such as bagasse, molasses, and mud press were reused and not dumped into the river. Imbang River was both the water source and wastewater sink for seven fish farms.
The sulfide tolerance of milkfish and tilapia in relation to fish kills in farms and natural waters in the Philippines Fish kills of milkfish Chanos chanos and tilapia Oreochromis spp. now occur frequently in brackish, marine, and freshwater farms (ponds, pens, and cages) in the Philippines. Aquafarms with high organic load, limited water exchange and circulation, no aeration, and high stocking and feeding rates can become oxygen-depleted and allow sulfide from the sediments to appear in the water column and poison free-swimming fish. The sulfide tolerance of 2-5 g milkfish and 5-8 g O. mossambicus was determined in 25-liter aquaria with flow-through sea water (100 ml min-1) at 26-30 °C and sulfide stock solutions pumped in at 1ml min-1. Total sulfide concentrations in the aquaria were measured by the methylene blue method and used in the regression against the probits of % survival. Four experiments showed that the two species have similar sulfide tolerance. In sea water of pH 8-8.5, about 163 ± 68 μM or 5.2 ± 2.2 mg l-1 total sulfide (mean ± 2 se) or 10 μM or 313 μg l-1 H2S was lethal to 50% of the fish in 4-8 h, and 61 ± 3 μM total sulfide or 4 μM H2S in 24-96 h (to convert all sulfide concentrations: 1 μM = 32 μg l-1). Earthen pond bottoms had 0-382 μM total dissolved sulfide (mean ± sd - 54 ± 79 μM, n - 76); a tenth of the samples had >200 μM. The water column may have such sulfide levels under hypoxic or anoxic conditions. To simulate some of the conditions during fish kills, 5-12 g milkfish were exposed to an abrupt increase in sulfide, alone or in combination with progressive respiratory hypoxia and decreasing pH. The tests were done in the same flow-through set-up but with sulfide pumped in at 25 ml min-1. The lethal concentration for 50% of the fish was 197 μM total sulfide or 12 μM H2S at 2 h, but 28-53 μM sulfide allowed fish to survive 6-10 h. Milkfish in aquaria with no aeration nor flow-through sea water died of respiratory hypoxia in 5-8 h when oxygen dropped from 6 to 1 mg l-1. Under respiratory hypoxia with 30-115 μM sulfide, the fish died in 2.5-4 h. Tests with low pH were done by pumping a weak sulfuric acid solution at 25 ml min-1 into aquaria with flow-through sea water such that the pH dropped from 8 to 4 in 5 h. Under these conditions, milkfish died in 7-9 h when the pH was 3.5. When 30-93 μM sulfide was pumped in with the acid, the fish died in 2-6 h when the pH was still 4.5-6.3. Thus, sulfide, hypoxia, and low pH are each toxic to milkfish at particular levels and aggravate each other's toxicity. Aquafarms must be well oxygenated to prevent sulfide toxicity and fish kills.