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Water SA

On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738


CLOETE, YC; SHADDOCK, BF  and  NEL, A. The use of two microbiotests to evaluate the toxicity of sediment from Mpumalanga, South Africa. Water SA [online]. 2017, vol.43, n.3, pp.409-412. ISSN 1816-7950.

Rapid urbanisation throughout the world has resulted in numerous ecological and environmental problems. The release of contaminants into the aquatic environment and the subsequent accumulation in sediment is a specific area of concern due to the potential re-release of the contaminants into solution. The responses of two microbiotests designed to evaluate sediment toxicity (the Ostracodtoxkit F and Phytotoxkit test) were compared once exposed to three samples collected in the vicinity of a power station in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Sediment characterisation and chemical analyses were conducted in order to determine possible correlations with the expressed results. Where possible, the concentration of chemicals in the sediment was compared to available sediment guidelines. The study showed that whilst the Phytotoxkit test results did not indicate any acute toxicity (< 50% inhibition), the Ostracodtoxkit F test indicated 100% mortality at the upstream site, with increased growth inhibition at the remaining two sites. The concentration of chrome at all three sites exceeded the interim sediment quality guidelines (37 mg/kg), with the sample collected at the upstream site exceeding the probable effect level (90 mg/kg). The findings from this study indicated that the Phytotoxkit and Ostracodtoxkit F test kits are sensitive enough to evaluate sediment toxicity.

Keywords : Ostracodtoxkit F; Phytotoxkit; sediment contamination.

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