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Water Res. 2011 Dec 1;45(19):6334-46. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2011.09.014. Epub 2011 Sep 17.

Spatial and temporal effects of olive mill wastewaters to stream macroinvertebrates and aquatic ecosystems status.

Author information

1
Institute of Inland Waters, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, 46.7 km Athens-Sounio Av., 19013 Anavissos, Attica, Greece. ikarz@ath.hcmr.gr

Abstract

Olive mill wastewater (OMW) is one of the major and most challenging organic pollutants in olive oil production countries. However, the knowledge about the in-situ effects of olive mill wastewaters to lotic ecosystems and their benthic organisms is very limited. To resolve this, eight sampling sites were selected upstream and downstream the outflow of several olive mills to assess the spatial and temporal effects of OMW to stream macroinvertebrates and to ecological status of stream ecosystems. Biotic (macroinvertebrates) and abiotic (physicochemical, hydromorphological) data were monitored for two years thus following the biennial cycle of olive growth and production and hydrological variation (drought-wet years). The results of this study revealed the spatial and temporal structural deterioration of the aquatic community due to OMW pollution with consequent reduction of the river capacity for reducing the effects of polluting substances through internal mechanisms of self-purification. OMW, even highly diluted, had dramatic impacts on the aquatic fauna and to the ecological status of the receiving stream ecosystems. The organic load of the wastewater expressed as BOD(5), COD and TSS, substrate contamination (sewage bacteria) and distance from the mill outlet, were the most important factors affecting macroinvertebrate assemblages while the typology (i.e. slope, altitude) and hydrology of the stream site (i.e. mountainous-lowland) and the intensity and volume of the wastewater were the most important determinants of self-purification processes. As OMW are usually being discharged in small size streams that are not considered in the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC, there is a need for including such systems into monitoring and assessment schemes as they may significantly contribute to the pollution load of the river basin. Furthermore, guidelines to manage these wastes through technologies that minimise their environmental impact and lead to a sustainable use of resources are critical.

PMID:
21993443
DOI:
10.1016/j.watres.2011.09.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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