An Assessment of the Effect of Industrial and Sewage Effluent on Aquatic Invertebrates: A Case Study of A Southern Urban Stream, Zimbabwe

Trevor Dube, Caston Makaka, Zwelabo Sibanda


The impact of industrial effluent discharged in Mazai stream was assessed through physical-chemical parameters and also by bio-monitoring of benthic macro-invertebrates. Samples were collected at three sites, one before the effluent discharge point into the stream (site 3) and two sites which were located downstream after the discharge points (sites 1 and 2). High levels of chemical pollutants were recorded at sites 1 and 2 (ZINWA red category) whereas site 3 (reference site) consisted of relatively clean water (ZINWA blue category). This was confirmed by the biological evaluation process. The SASS4 scores at sites 1 and 2 indicated a deterioration of water quality while site 3 there was good water quality with high species diversity. Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) showed that pollution sensitive taxa such as Hemiptera, Trichoptera, Coleoptera and Odonata were dominant at site 3 whilst the other sites were dominated by pollution tolerant species such Chironomids. Continuous discharge of effluent could lead to extreme degradation of Mazai stream hence loss of biodiversity of macro-invertebrates.

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