Sugar mill effluents and water quality in Imbang River and Malisbog River, Negros Occidental
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The effluents of two sugar mills and the effects on water quality in the receiving rivers were studied. Sugar mill A was located in Barangay Dos Hermanas in Talisay and discharged directly into Imbang River. Sugar Mill B was located in Barangay Hawaiian in Silay City and discharged into Malisbog River, a tributary of Imbang. Both sugar mills had sedimentation tanks and lagoons for partial wastewater treatment prior to discharge. Water sampling was done at 13 stations at effluent discharge sites and also upstream and downstream of these sites. The sugar mill effluents were particularly high in biochemical oxygen demand (BOD 109–419 mg/l), total suspended solids (168–384 mg/l), and total solids (1,185–1,234 mg/l), also high in ammonia (0.2–0.5 mg/l) and water temperature (31–38°C), but low in dissolved oxygen (2–5 mg/l). Measured stream flows varied at the different stations and were generally lowest at stations near sugar mill A and at stations near sugar mill B. At these sites, the depth of Imbang River varied from about 10 cm during low water flow in December–May to about 2 m during high water flow in June–November. During normal low flows, the sugar mill effluent comprised 75–85% of the total stream volume, causing highly polluted conditions immediately below the outlets. Sugar mill A discharged high annual loads of solids, BOD, nitrate, and phosphate into Imbang River, whereas sugar mill B loaded plenty of solids, BOD, ammonia, and phosphate into Malisbog River. The sugar cane milling season in Negros Occidental started in October and ended in May, coincident with the dry season. Significantly higher levels of BOD and nutrients, but lower DO, were observed in the river during the milling season (see figures in Gonzales et al., this volume), both because of greater discharge and lower dilution by lower stream flows. River water quality was better at the stations upstream than downstream of the sugar mills. Stations near the sugar mills had BOD, ammonia, and solids at concentrations exceeding the allowable limits set for river water by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Gonzales, H. J. (2008). Sugar mill effluents and water quality in Imbang River and Malisbog River, Negros Occidental. In T. U. Bagarinao (Ed.), Research Output of the Fisheries Sector Program (Vol. 2. Reports on Fisheries and Aquaculture, pp. 71-76). 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.
Book chapterGA Gonzales - In T Bagarinao (Ed.), Research Output of the Fisheries Sector Program, 2007 - Bureau of Agricultural Research, Department of AgricultureThis 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.