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Identification of Polluted Sites in Four Major Rivers in Kuantan, Malaysia based on Water Chemistry Estimates of Aquatic Microbial Activity

1
Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Kochi University, 2-5-1 Akebono-cho, Kochi city, Kochi 780-8520, Japan
2
Faculty of Industrial Sciences and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Lebuhraya Tun Razak, 26300 Gambang Kuantan, Pahang Darul Makmur, Malaysia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3813; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143813
Received: 5 June 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Resource Management)
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Abstract

Kuantan in Pahang, Malaysia has experienced rapid development and environmental degradation over the past decade following the implementation of The National Physical Plan 2005. To assess water quality and identify polluted areas in the region, we measured the water chemistry and microbial activity in response to land-use changes for four major rivers, namely, Pahang, Kuantan, Belat, and Galing, using data from ion chromatography and portable water quality monitoring devices. The following were concluded: (1) significant differences in chemical oxygen demand, COD concentration among all monitored rivers suggest that COD and its associated biological reactions are key parameters to assess anthropogenic water quality degradation in our study area; (2) due to the low anthropogenic wastewater pollution, the dominant microbial reactions in the Pahang, Kuantan, and Belat rivers were aerobic microbial oxidation of organic compounds and nitrification by nitrifying bacteria, allowing the rivers to self-purify; (3) the Galing River predominantly experiences anaerobic decomposition of organic compounds through microbial denitrification and sulfate reduction due to the heavy anthropogenic land use in the river basin; and (4) the western side of the Galing River and upstream sites located within the industrial and business/servicing areas in the Kuantan city center experience the heaviest pollution. View Full-Text
Keywords: aquatic environmental pollution; land utilization; aquatic biological reaction; South East Asia (Peninsula Malaysia) aquatic environmental pollution; land utilization; aquatic biological reaction; South East Asia (Peninsula Malaysia)
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Kozaki, D.; Idayu binti Harun, N.; Hein Chong, C.; Hayati binti Esraruddin, M.; binti Yunus, N.A.; binti Derahman, A.S.; Seng Pu, K.; binti Alias, N.S.; A/P Annamalai, K.; Nagappan, S.; bin Ab. Rahim, M.H.; M. Yusoff, M. Identification of Polluted Sites in Four Major Rivers in Kuantan, Malaysia based on Water Chemistry Estimates of Aquatic Microbial Activity. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3813.

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