Impact on Water Quality of Gross Pollutants
This report was produced for the Urban Water Research Association of Australia, a now discontinued research program.
Report no. UWRAA 121
Gross pollutants represent a problem of visual pollution but less is known of their chemical impacts on aquatic ecosystems. This paper reports the results of an experiment in which the impact of gross pollutants on water quality was examined. Rubbish (gross pollutants) was retrieved from urban sites in the Lane Cove Valley. The material was sorted and placed in drums containing either deionised water or local urban creek water. Some of the treatments were aerated. Water quality parameters were monitored over 262 days.
Results of the analyses suggest that many gross pollutants are benign in terms of key water quality parameters. However, there are several types of rubbish which will present serious problems. Rubbish left in water for periods in excess of 30 days will degrade water quality. The study suggests that rubbish should be frequently (at least once a month) removed from ponded environments.