Dr Nhamo Mutingwende

Level of Study: 
Spatial and seasonal variations of unexpected industrial and agricultural pollutants for the proposed Mzimvubu Water Project, South Africa

In South Africa, the occurrence and effects of emerging pollutants have been investigated in several studies showing their detection in drinking, surface and waste waters. The drinking and surface waters of Mzimvubu catchment is expected to change both at spatial and temporal scales once the dam wall is raised. This study aimed at investigating the spatial and seasonal variations of seventeen water quality indices as well as levels and source of pharmaceutical and pesticide pollutants across sixteen sampling sites within the proposed Mzimvubu Water Project. The liquid chromatography mass spectrometry technique was used to screen for pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Full scan acquisition to get total ion chromatograms of target analytes was done with the aid of the Peak View and Analyst Software. Natural and anthropogenic risk factors were identified which could affect the water quality of the Ntabalenga dam, including pollution from agricultural activities, pit latrines, human settlements and effluent from wastewater treatments plants and hospitals. The Tsitsa River was identified as the water source for the proposed dam, with the highest number of non-compliances to the World Health Organization and Department of Water and Sanitation aquaculture guidelines. Therefore, the Tsitsa River’s water quality would be a significant factor that could compromise the water quality of the water collected in the dam.