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Water Pollution in Selected Coastal Areas in Western Province, Sri Lanka: A Baseline Survey

Authors:

ND Hettige ,

Postgraduate Institute of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya and Environmental Studies Division, National Aquatic Resource Research and Development Agency (NARA), Crow Island, Colombo 15, LK
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KAWS Weerasekara,

Environmental Studies Division, National Aquatic Resource Research and Development Agency (NARA), Crow Island, Colombo 15, LK
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SAM Azmy,

Environmental Studies Division, National Aquatic Resource Research and Development Agency (NARA), Crow Island, Colombo 15, LK
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KBSN Jinadasa

Postgraduate Institute of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

The coastal area of the Western Province is faced with an acute environmental problem due to undesirable pollution of its waters from various wastes. The overall objective of this research was to determine the present status of water quality along the coastal line in the Western Province. In addition, an attempt was made to suggest recommendations to mitigate the pollution levels. The study was carried out from November 2011 to April 2012 and sampling was done on a monthly basis from Bentota to Negombo in selected coastal area. Dissolved oxygen (DO), water temperature, pH, turbidity, conductivity, total dissolved solids (TDS) and salinity were determined in situ and water samples were subjected to laboratory analysis using standard methods. Coastal water quality results revealed that, the average ammonia concentration (0.22 ± 0.16) mg/L and water temperature (30.0 ± 3.8) 0C were below the maximum permissible limits of the proposed ambient water quality standards for Sri Lankan coastal waters. Average pH (7.91 ± 0.34) was within the ideal pH range for above standards whereas the mean concentration of DO was below the saturation level. An average value determined for Biochemical Oxygen Demand (12.08 ± 4.47) mg/l was much higher than the permissible threshold limit (>5 mg/l) which indicates the gross organic and inorganic pollution in all selected sampling locations in western coast. Proposed ambient coastal water quality standards should be modified using coastal water quality monitoring data and expert views and comments. Further studies needed to determine heavy metal concentration and bacteriological parameters to obtain clear picture of the pollution status.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/jepsl.v3i2.7843

Journal of Environmental Professionals Sri Lanka: 2014 Vol. 3 No. 2: 12-24

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jepsl.v3i2.7843
How to Cite: Hettige, N. et al., (2014). Water Pollution in Selected Coastal Areas in Western Province, Sri Lanka: A Baseline Survey. Journal of Environmental Professionals Sri Lanka. 3(2), pp.12–24. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jepsl.v3i2.7843
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Published on 24 Dec 2014.
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