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A Comprehensive Study on the Recent Progress and Trends in Development of Small Hydropower Projects
 
 
Article

Analysis of Spatial Distribution of Sediment Pollutants Accumulated in the Vicinity of a Small Hydropower Plant

1
Institute of Environmental Engineering, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, 50-363 Wrocław, Poland
2
Institute of Soil Sciences and Environmental Protection, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, 50-357 Wrocław, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Epari Ritesh Patro and Carlo De Michele
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5935; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185935
Received: 21 August 2021 / Revised: 14 September 2021 / Accepted: 16 September 2021 / Published: 18 September 2021
Hydropower plants affect the distribution and composition of sediments. The main aim of this study was to analyze the spatial distribution of sediment pollution in the vicinity of a small hydropower plant. The grain composition of the sediments, the content of heavy metals (Cu, Ni, Cr, Zn, Pb, and Cd) and select physicochemical properties (pH, electrolytic conductivity) were tested at 14 points upstream and downstream of the hydropower plant on the Ślęza River in Poland, as well as at reference point. The interactions between the tested parameters were also verified. The results of the conducted analysis show that hydropower plants significantly affect the composition and properties of sediments. Large amounts of sediment are deposited on damming weirs, accumulating heavy metals and other substances. The differences in the concentrations of elements were significant, and Cu, Ni, Cr, Zn and Pb were 8.74, 9.53, 3.63, 8.26 and 6.33 times higher, respectively, than the median value at points upstream of the hydropower plant than downstream. It was shown that the tested parameters of the sediments interact with each other and are correlated; heavy metals showed a synergistic effect, while other parameters configurations showed an antagonistic effect. The higher content of heavy metals upstream of the hydropower plant resulted from the presence of finer sediment—classified as silt—in this section. Downstream of the hydropower plant, there were mainly sands, which showed a lower ability to absorb substances. This work contributes to improving the rational management of the worldwide issue of sediments within dams located in river valleys. Moreover, it is in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations, particularly in the fields of clean water and sanitation, clean and available energy, and responsible consumption and production. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydropower plants; sediment; environmental impacts; heavy metals; dams; rivers; renewable energy sources; water management; sustainable development hydropower plants; sediment; environmental impacts; heavy metals; dams; rivers; renewable energy sources; water management; sustainable development
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tomczyk, P.; Gałka, B.; Wiatkowski, M.; Buta, B.; Gruss, Ł. Analysis of Spatial Distribution of Sediment Pollutants Accumulated in the Vicinity of a Small Hydropower Plant. Energies 2021, 14, 5935. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185935

AMA Style

Tomczyk P, Gałka B, Wiatkowski M, Buta B, Gruss Ł. Analysis of Spatial Distribution of Sediment Pollutants Accumulated in the Vicinity of a Small Hydropower Plant. Energies. 2021; 14(18):5935. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185935

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tomczyk, Paweł, Bernard Gałka, Mirosław Wiatkowski, Bogna Buta, and Łukasz Gruss. 2021. "Analysis of Spatial Distribution of Sediment Pollutants Accumulated in the Vicinity of a Small Hydropower Plant" Energies 14, no. 18: 5935. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185935

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