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  River Water Pollution Crisis In Lebanon

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مُساهمةموضوع: River Water Pollution Crisis In Lebanon   الأربعاء سبتمبر 15, 2010 10:32 am

Planetary Notions
2002


River Water Pollution Crisis In Lebanon
A group of students from Eastwood College have taken part in a project involving water pollution in Lebanon
rivers. They decided on this project because of their observation that people behave very imprudently when it comes to taking care of the rivers.
This is what they had to say about their project:
We chose four main parameters for our study:
1) pH
2) Nitrate
3) Fecal Coliform
4) Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)
Background:
Testing for pH is important because most natural waters are buffered by a carbon-dioxide bicarbonate system. This tends to keep the pH of most waters around 7 to 7.5, unless large amounts of acid or base are added to the water.
Bacteria and viruses from human and animal wastes that are carried to streams can cause diseases. Fecal Coliform bacteria, found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals, is the bacteria that water quantity standards are written for. The standard is 200 colonies per 100 ml of sample water (CFU). Typical sources of bacteria are sewage systems, poor pasture management and animal keeping practices, pet wastes, and urban runoff. High bacteria levels can limit the uses of water or contaminate drinking water in ground level wells.
Nitrates are natural components of fresh and salt waters and are the principal source of nitrogen for all aquatic flora. The majority of nitrates come from sewage treatment works and agricultural processes, particularly the leakage of nitrates from fertilizers and manure. There are two problem areas associated with high nitrate concentration in water: health and eutrophication, which can deprive fish and invertebrates of oxygen in the water.
COD is a measure of the total quantity of oxygen required to oxidize all organic material into carbon
dioxide and water.

Our Project:
We concentrated on the results of tests on two rivers: Nahr Ibrahim, and Nahr Beirut. The first field day was Wednesday 13th of February, 2002, in which we went to Nahr Ibrahim. We started at its source, Afka, and continued along its course, until we reached the outflow in Okaibeh.
The second field day was the 6th of March. We went to Hammana, which is the source of Nahr Beirut. To get to the spring, we had to climb a steep rock face, endangering our lives for about two hours. Afterwards, we proceeded to make our way to the outflow. The smell we were greeted with was very harsh on our senses. There was a drastic difference between the water there, and the water at the source, which we drank from.

Hammana- Beirut Source


Sewage-Beirut
Test results showed that the water was highly polluted by quarries, which made the water pH basic, as well as with litter such as plastic bottles, chairs, and a metal bed. There were also tires, colossal bags of trash, as well as many other unprintable things. Another major problem is sewage. Villages around the courses of the rivers do not have proper sewage systems; hence the sewage goes right into the river, which increases the rate of fecal coliform bacteria by immense proportions.
Our next step is to seek the help of the Ministry of the Environment, to tackle the pollution problem in any way possible. We have a few ideas about the matter, such as banning picnics around river areas and their tributaries.
This Project was conducted by Megan Khoury, Mariane Keushgeurian, Voula Simhairi, Simon Atkins, Joe Aghassi, Nancy Nassour, James Helou, and Sean Atkins.

Shuwwan-Ibrahim Tributary
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River Water Pollution Crisis In Lebanon
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