Quality of water types in Ukraine evaluated by WaterTox bioassays

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Journal: Environ Toxicol 2002/07/12
Published: 2002
Authors: Arkhipchuk, V. V.;Malinovskaya, M. V.
Address: Institute of Colloid Chemistry and Water Chemistry, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Vernadsky Boulevard 42, 03680, Kiev 142, Ukraine. arvic@nbi.com.ua

The quality of river, ground-, and tap water was analyzed using the basic set of WaterTox bioassays Daphnia (Daphnia magna), Hydra (Hydra attenuata), and lettuce (Lactuca sativa) as well as two additional bioassays, onion (Allium cepa) and microalga (Selenastrum gracile). Samples of these waters were also concentrated fivefold using a solid-phase procedure. The results of the Daphnia and Hydra bioassays showed that the winter and spring concentrated and nonconcentrated samples from the Dnieper and Desna rivers, the main water supply sources for Kiev, were nontoxic. In spring, after concentration, the two river samples brought about the same relative decrease in the lettuce root length (by 35%, p < 0.001), where the Desna River sample considerably reduced (by 79.1%, p < 0.001) the number of microalga cells. Samples of groundwater from countryside wells studied in autumn in several villages of the Kiev region were toxic mainly to Hydra (sublethal effects were found in 11%-78%) and lettuce (the root length decreased 15%-56%). Studies of tap water samples from two of the largest cities of Ukraine, Kiev and Kharkiv, were found to be nontoxic to both plants, lettuce and onion, but showed increased sublethal and lethal effects on both animals, Daphnia and Hydra, as well as a reduced number of microalgae. Different bioassays were sensitive to varying degrees to different water types. This reinforces the necessity of using sets of bioassays in toxicity evaluation. In general, all the tested water samples demonstrated some toxicity. These data suggest that drinking water quality in Ukraine needs improvement.

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