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Water 2018, 10(9), 1249; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091249

Water Quality as an Indicator of Stream Restoration Effects—A Case Study of the Kwacza River Restoration Project

1
Department of Hydrobiology, Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, 85-064 Bydgoszcz, Poland
2
Department of Water Resources, Climatology and Environmental Management, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Pl. Łódzki 2, 10-719 Olsztyn-Kortowo, Poland
3
Department of Agrotechnology, Agricultural Production Management and Agribusiness, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Pl. Łódzki 2, 10-719 Olsztyn-Kortowo, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Quality as a Driver of Aquatic Ecosystem Health)
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Abstract

River restoration projects rely on environmental engineering solutions to improve the health of riparian ecosystems and restore their natural characteristics. The Kwacza River, the left tributary of the Słupia River in northern Poland, and the recipient of nutrients from an agriculturally used catchment area, was restored in 2007. The ecological status of the river’s biotope was improved with the use of various hydraulic structures, including palisades, groynes and stone islands, by protecting the banks with trunks, exposing a fragment of the river channel, and building a by-pass near a defunct culvert. The effects of restoration treatments were evaluated by comparing the physicochemical parameters of river water along the 2.5 km restored section between the source and the mouth to the Słupia, before restoration and 6 years after hydrotechnical treatments. A total of 18 physicochemical parameters were analyzed at 10 cross-sections along the river. The greatest changes were observed in the concentrations of NO3-N and NH4+-N, which decreased by 70% and 50%, respectively. Dissolved oxygen concentration increased by 65%. Chloride values increased by 44%, and chlorophyll-a concentration increased by 30% after the project. The cut-off channel (by-pass), semi-palisades, and single groynes were the treatments that contributed most to water quality improvement. The results of this study indicate that river restoration projects can substantially reduce nitrogen pollution, which is particularly important in agricultural areas. Such measures can effectively reinstate natural conditions in river ecosystems. Hydrochemical monitoring is required to control the parameters of restored rivers. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological engineering; water quality improvement; non-point pollution sources ecological engineering; water quality improvement; non-point pollution sources
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Mrozińska, N.; Glińska-Lewczuk, K.; Burandt, P.; Kobus, S.; Gotkiewicz, W.; Szymańska, M.; Bąkowska, M.; Obolewski, K. Water Quality as an Indicator of Stream Restoration Effects—A Case Study of the Kwacza River Restoration Project. Water 2018, 10, 1249.

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