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Study on Water Quality Parameters of Linggi and

Melaka Rivers Catchments in Malaysia


Saman Daneshmand*, Bujang B. K. Huat, Hossein Moayedi,
and Thamer Ahmad Mohammad Ali

Department of Civil Engineering, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia


E-mail: saman.daneshmand11@gmail.com*

Abstract. The Linggi and Melaka rivers catchments are among the most significant
watersheds in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. However, Malaysia is a tropical
country with approximately similar seasonal climate, in the monsoon period, water
level of catchment is different. Recently in the supposed domain, due to raising the
population and expanding urban areas, demand for water consumption is increased
gradually. On the other hand, problem of water pollutions due to industrial activities
have been signed out. Therefore, study on water quality and sources of pollutions in
these regions became vital for public and private sections. This study was conducted to
assess the water quality conditions in both rivers catchments. The observed water
quality data for 5 years period (2004-2008) were obtained from Departments of
Environments water quality monitoring stations in Malaysia. Statistical analyses have
been carried out on three water quality constituents which are BOD5, NH3-N and TSS.
The observed data were compared with the water quality criteria to identify the water
quality violation level in both river catchments. Furthermore, the differences in water
quality between base and storm flow events were examined using Box and Whisker
Plots. Results of this study indicate that TSS and NH3-N are the primary causes for
water quality impairment in Linggi River with concentration of about 78.3% and 81.8%
respectively. However, for Melaka catchment, TSS is identified as the main cause of
water quality impairment, when 64.4% of the total water samples exceed the standard.
There are some point sources and non-point sources of water quality impacts in both
watersheds. The results of this study would be contributed to development of best
management practices for the Linggi and Melaka catchments and similar study areas.

Keywords: Water quality assessment, base and storm flow events, violation, land use.

ENGINEERING JOURNAL Volume 15 Issue 4


Received 28 May 2011
Accepted 5 July 2011
Published 1 October 2011
Online at http://www.ej.eng.chula.ac.th/eng/
DOI:10.4186/ej.2011.15.4.41
DOI:10.4186/ej.2011.15.4.41

1. Introduction

Rivers play a major role in assimilation or carrying off the municipal and industrial wastewater and run-
off from agricultural land. The river systems are most adversely affected due to their dynamic nature
and an easy accessibility for the waste disposal directly or indirectly through drains or tributaries [1].
According to [2] river pollution is an integrated environmental problem resulting not only from
unregulated industrial pollutants and accidental spills, but also from such factors as airborne and other
non-point source pollutants, urbanization, deforestation, erosion and intensified agriculture. In recent
years there is a rapid declining availability of usable fresh-water in terms of water quality and quantity
due to unsustainable land use practices [3].
As Malaysia is fast becoming an industrial country, many of rivers have become polluted due to the
many wastes that have been poured out into rivers from industrial sections. In addition, Malaysia is a
tropical country with approximately similar seasonal climate, however, in the monsoon water level of
catchment is different. Recently in the boundary of Negeri Sembilan and Melaka states in Malaysia, due
to raising the population and expanding urban areas, demand for water consumption is increased
gradually. On the other hand, problem of water pollutions due to industrial activities have been signed
out. Therefore, study on water quality and sources of pollutions in these regions become vital for public
and private sections. The water pollution in Malaysia is originated from both point sources (PS) and
non-point sources (NPS). Point sources that have been identified include sewage treatment plants,
manufacturing and agro-based industries and animal farms. Non-point sources are mainly diffused ones
such as agricultural activities and surface runoffs. According to Malaysia Environment Quality Report
[4], the Department of Environment has described the major pollutants were Biochemical Oxygen
Demand (BOD5), Ammoniacal Nitrogen (NH3-N) and Suspended Solids (TSS). High BOD 5 was
contributed largely by untreated or partially treated sewage and discharges from agro-based and
manufacturing industries. The main sources of NH 3-N were domestic sewage and livestock farming,
while the sources for TSS were mostly earthworks and land clearing activities.
In order to improve the water quality of the river, the type of the pollution sources from various
land use activities entering the river must be identified so that measurements can be taken to control the
individual pollutants from the source without affecting the economy of the nation [5]. At present, the
water quality assessment studies focused on the aspects, such as pollutant concentrations, loading level,
evaluation of the water quality, and the temporal and spatial variations of water quality constituents.
However, there are very few studies have been conducted on the comparison of water quality between
base and storm flow events.
The study is focused mainly on two sites at Linggi river and Melaka catchments; two major rivers
in state of Negeri Sembilan and Melaka in Malaysia respectively. These rivers catchments serve as an
important water resource for the west coast area in Peninsular Malaysia. During the last several decades,
the combination of rapid population growth coupled with industrial and urban development had resulted
in a serious deterioration of water quality in downstream area. Major pollution sources include domestic
sewage, industrial wastewater, livestock discharge, and urban and agricultural runoff. Thus, it is crucial
to identify the type of the effluents entering the water body attributable to the various land-use activities
in the catchment. Hence, an assessment of water quality conditions was carried out in Linggi and
Melaka catchments during base and storm flow events.

2. Materials and Methods of Study

The Linggi river watershed spreads over an area of 326 km 2 at the point of the abstraction of the Linggi
water treatment plant. The watershed is highly urbanized and densely populated, which is accounted by
the capital state of Seremban, and by its neighbourhood conurbations. Melaka River flows through the
middle Malacca Town in the Malacca state. A total of 17 stations were selected by DOE to monitor the
physical and water quality parameters in Linggi and Melaka catchments as illustrated in Fig. 1(a) and
1(b). All the geographical coordinates of water quality sampling stations are shown in Table 1(a) and
1(b). The water quality data were observed from these monitoring stations during 2004 to 2008. The
differences in water quality between base and storm flow events were examined using Box and Whisker
Plots.

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DOI:10.4186/ej.2011.15.4.41

Basically, Water Quality Index (WQI) attempts to provide a mechanism for presenting a
cumulatively derived, numerical expression defining a certain level of water quality [6]. In Malaysia
according to Malaysian National Water Quality Standards (NWQS) the WQI comprises of six
parameters which are highlighted in the following formula, however, different standards consider more
parameters such as phosphorus, heavy metals, etc.The WQI and its major sub indexes (BOD5, NH3-N
and TSS) trend for Linggi and Melaka catchments were plotted graphically to find out the most polluted
river tributaries within the catchment for the time frame. The formula to obtain WQI is as follows:
WQI=(0.22SIDO)+(0.19SIBOD)+(0.16SICOD)+(0.15SIAN)+(0.16SISS)+(0.12SIpH)
SIDO-------Sub Index Dissolved Oxygen
SIBOD-----Sub Index Biochemical Oxygen Demand
SICOD-----Sub Index Chemical Oxygen Demand
SIAN--------Sub Index Ammoniacal Nitrogen
SISS---------Sub Index Suspended Solids
SIpH-------- Sub Index for pH

Fig.1. Geographical locations of Linggi and Melaka rivers Catchments.

(a) (b)
Fig. 2. Geographical Location of Water Quality Sampling Stations (a) Linggi and (b) Melaka.

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DOI:10.4186/ej.2011.15.4.41

Table 1. Geographical Coordinates of DOE and DID Sampling Stations: (a) Linggi; (b) Melaka.
Station location Station Location
Station Water body Station Water Body
Latitude Longitude Latitude Longitude
1LI01 Linggi River 2.398 101.982 1M01 Melaka River 2.201 102.249
1LI02 Linggi River 2.482 102.013 1M02 Melaka River 2.227 102.261
1LI03 Linggi River 2.507 101.964 1M03 Melaka River 2.256 102.236
1LI04 Linggi River 2.581 101.957 1M04 Melaka River 2.296 102.261
1LI05 Linggi River 2.652 101.925 1M05 Melaka River 2.34 102.254
1LI06 Kepayong 2.694 101.934 1M06 Melaka River 2.374 102.221
1LI07 Temiang River 2.728 101.952 1M07 Btg.Melaka 2.462 102.384
1LI08 Batang Penar 2.746 101.992 1M08 Btg.Melaka 2.419 102.303
1LI09 Rembau River 2.463 102.055 1M09 Putat 2.256 102.271
1LI10 Rembau River 2.457 102.071 1M10 DurianTunl 2.314 102.282
1LI11 Chembong 2.592 102.085 1M11 Tampin River 2.49 102.219
1LI12 Kundur Besar 2.538 102.036 1M12 Melaka River 2.195 102.249
1LI13 Pedas River 2.592 102.053 1M13 Putat River 2.236 102.261
1LI14 Simin River 2.591 101.966 1M14 Melaka River 2.244 102.249
1LI15 Linggi River 2.508 101.967 1M15 Rembia River 2.324 102.212
1LI16 Linggi River 2.508 101.931 1M16 Rembia River 2.328 102.209
1LI17 Linggi River 2.692 101.917 1M17 Melaka River 2.364 102.22
(a) (b)

The BOD5 test were carried out according to APHA 5210-B Standard Method. The method consists
of filling sample, to overflowing an airtight 350mL bottle and incubating it at 20C for 5 days.
Determination of NH3-N was done by using Spectrophotometer HACH Model DR 4000 following the
APHA 4500-NH3-BC Standard Method. To find out TSS parameter, APHA 2540-D standard method, a
glass microfiber filter disc was used to filter the water sample.
The standard deviation, minimum, maximum, median, and average values were calculated for each
water quality constituents i.e. BOD5, NH3-N and TSS in statistical analysis. This analysis only limits to
three major water quality parameters while according to Malaysia Environment Quality Report [4], the
Department of Environment has described the major pollutants were Biochemical Oxygen Demand
(BOD5), Ammoniacal Nitrogen (NH3-N) and Suspended Solids (TSS) in a previous study .
A Box and Whisker Plot or Box Plot, are used to graphically represent the data set. This plot is
suitable when the data set contain a small number of values and involve five specific values [7, 8, 9].
i. The lowest value of the data set (minimum value)
ii. The lower quartile (Q1)
iii. The median is the midpoint of the data array
iv. The upper quartile (Q3)
v. The highest value of the data set (maximum value)
The five specific values give information about the location (from the median), spread (from the
quartiles) and range (from the sample minimum and maximum) of the observations. Box and Whisker
Plots are uniform in their use of the box: the bottom and top of the box are always the 25th and 75th
percentile (the lower and upper quartiles, respectively), and the band near the middle of the box is
always the 50th percentile (the median).
Water quality parameters violation analysis has been carried out following the box whisker analysis
in order to compare the results accordingly for both base and storm flow events. The river water sample
is considered in violation if the parameters concentration exceeds the specific values based on Class II,
Interim National Water Quality Standards for Malaysia (INWQS) [10] as shown in Table 2.

44 ENGINEERING JOURNAL Volume 15 Issue 4, ISSN 0125-8281 (http://www.ej.eng.chula.ac.th/eng/)


DOI:10.4186/ej.2011.15.4.41

Table 2. Malaysian National Class II Water Quality Standard [10].

Water Quality Parameters Units INWQS for Class II


BOD5 mg L-1 < 3.0
TSS mg L-1 < 50
NH3-N mg L-1 < 0.3

Land use is a very important characteristic for the catchments, and it has been recognized as one of
the major variables in non-point sources of pollution [11]. In this study, the current land use maps were
digitized by using ARCVIEW GIS version 3.1. The geographical land use maps were initially been
digitized by using Auto-CAD before integrating it with ARCVIEW GIS. Then the composition for each
land use category was updated in GIS based on the digitized land use maps.

3. Results and Discussions

The analysis of water quality data, in Linggi and Melaka catchments in the form of numerical and
graphical outputs obtained from this study are presented in the following sections.
The WQI and sub index values for major water quality parameters (BOD 5, TSS, and NH3-N) for
river tributaries in Linggi and Melaka rivers basins were tabulated in Table 3. Based on Environmental
Quality Report published by DOE annually, both Linggi and Melaka rivers basins categorized as
slightly polluted rivers, with the average WQI values of 76.8 (Linggi basin) and 73.2 (Melaka basin).
The fluctuation of water quality within the 5 years period suggests that the pollution level at certain
river tributaries should be of major concern. The lowest average WQI value (66.5) was indicated by
Batang Penar River tributary in Linggi catchment. Whereas, Putat River tributary in Melaka catchment
indicating the lowest average WQI value (60.1), even both river tributaries show an improving water
quality trend for the time period of study as shown in Table 3(a). Linggi and Melaka rivers catchments
show a good water quality conditions in term of BOD5 parameter as most of the river tributaries in both
river basins signified an improving trend as shown in Table 3 (b). In contrast, the water quality in both
river basins was impaired by TSS pollutants; most river tributaries experienced the deteriorating trend
of water quality in term of TSS Table 3(c). The water quality of Linggi catchment was greatly impaired
by TSS compare to water quality in Melaka catchment as the average BOD 5 index for the Linggi basin
was identified 65 compare to Melaka basin which is 79. The NH3-N sub index trend in Table 3(d),
indicating that Putat river tributarys water quality in Melaka catchment were extremely impacted and
caused deterioration of the river basin.

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Table 3. Water quality trends for river tributaries in Linggi and Melaka catchments:
(a) WQI (mg/L), (b) BOD5 Index (mg/L), (c) TSS Index (mg/L), and (d) NH3 Index (mg/L).

WATER QUALITY INDEX ( WQI ) BOD INDEX


River Year Rate of River Year Rate of
Trend Trend
Tributaries 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Change Tributaries 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Change
Sg. Linggi Catchment Sg. Linggi Catchment
Batang Penar 55 53 62 80 82 8.13 Improved Batang Penar 61 50 75 91 88 9.63 Improved
Chembong 84 85 84 88 85 0.43 Improved Chembong 93 90 92 94 90 -0.14 Deteriorated
Kepayong 75 64 78 82 77 2.17 Improved Kepayong 83 63 78 92 83 2.92 Improved
Kundur Besar 92 89 90 90 85 -1.07 Deteriorated Kundur Besar 95 93 91 94 83 -2.19 Deteriorated
Linggi 74 70 74 78 75 1.00 Improved Linggi 83 69 80 88 80 1.39 Improved
Pedas 87 88 85 85 82 -1.39 Deteriorated Pedas 93 91 91 89 90 -0.60 Deteriorated
Rembau 83 86 85 85 84 0.10 Improved Rembau 92 92 92 91 92 -0.02 Deteriorated
Simin 70 66 73 80 77 2.81 Improved Simin 77 61 69 84 74 1.80 Improved
Temiang 77 72 72 79 75 0.40 Improved Temiang 88 74 76 91 82 0.64 Improved
Sg. Melaka Catchment Sg. Melaka Catchment
Btg. Melaka 87 88 85 87 86 -0.36 Deteriorated Btg. Melaka 94 90 88 92 91 -0.54 Deteriorated
Durian Tunggal 83 78 84 85 85 1.13 Improved Durian Tunggal 91 72 89 89 91 1.73 Improved
Melaka 71 68 70 70 70 -0.02 Deteriorated Melaka 80 71 80 84 83 1.96 Improved
Putat 58 54 68 59 61 1.02 Improved Putat 69 65 85 78 79 3.29 Improved
Rembia 77 64 67 78 70 -0.11 Deteriorated Rembia 84 64 72 84 77 0.54 Improved
Tampin 87 82 85 90 83 0.10 Improved Tampin 94 84 87 95 86 -0.63 Deteriorated
(a) (b)

TSS INDEX NH3 INDEX


River Year Rate of River Year Rate of
Trend Trend
Tributaries 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Change Tributaries 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Change
Sg. Linggi Catchment Sg. Linggi Catchment
Batang Penar 49 44 43 64 49 2.01 Improved Batang Penar 25 14 39 62 94 18.44 Improved
Chembong 83 87 71 89 65 -3.42 Deteriorated Chembong 86 73 79 84 96 3.10 Improved
Kepayong 63 34 74 78 59 3.56 Improved Kepayong 47 35 58 56 65 5.69 Improved
Kundur Besar 92 91 90 87 86 -1.59 Deteriorated Kundur Besar 94 94 96 89 91 -1.03 Deteriorated
Linggi 66 63 55 54 43 -5.52 Deteriorated Linggi 52 46 59 75 85 9.36 Improved
Pedas 80 89 62 73 53 -6.99 Deteriorated Pedas 85 87 89 86 94 1.65 Improved
Rembau 59 71 67 64 57 -1.01 Deteriorated Rembau 83 84 82 90 94 2.75 Improved
Simin 74 67 54 64 62 -2.66 Deteriorated Simin 36 21 58 79 76 13.87 Improved
Temiang 59 59 50 53 32 -5.97 Deteriorated Temiang 52 44 58 65 83 8.38 Improved
Sg. Melaka Catchment Sg. Melaka Catchment
Btg. Melaka 79 91 74 73 69 -3.84 Deteriorated Btg. Melaka 85 91 93 91 99 2.81 Improved
Durian Tunggal 90 77 82 79 74 -3.06 Deteriorated Durian Tunggal 65 66 72 77 81 4.36 Improved
Melaka 72 72 65 65 65 -2.04 Deteriorated Melaka 45 38 48 50 51 2.48 Improved
Putat 88 80 83 81 84 -0.87 Deteriorated Putat 1 0 12 4 11 2.49 Improved
Rembia 91 89 80 81 73 -4.42 Deteriorated Rembia 42 31 27 53 37 1.21 Improved
Tampin 87 89 86 85 63 -5.36 Deteriorated Tampin 84 75 78 92 96 3.91 Improved
(c) (d)

To evaluate the water quality constituents, BOD5, NH3-N and TSS were analyzed between the base and
storm flow events in this study. The calculated statistics of the water samples from all stations are given
in Table 4.

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DOI:10.4186/ej.2011.15.4.41

Table 4. Statistics of DOE Monitoring Water Quality Data.

Water Sample Minimum Maximum Median Mean Standard


Quality Size Value Value Value Value Deviation
Constituents
(mg L-1)
Linggi River Catchment
BOD5 432 1 36 3 4.45 4.31
TSS 432 1 39400 75 322.97 1991.31
Ammonia 432 <0.01 16.9 0.48 1.03 1.57
Melaka River Catchment
BOD5 771 1 64 4 5.20 5.43
TSS 771 1 1780 35 80.59 144.75
Ammonia 771 <0.01 24.4 1.20 2.36 2.62

For Linggi river catchment, the maximum BOD 5 concentration for base flow event is higher than
BOD5 during storm flow event i.e. 27 mg L-1 and 26 mg L-1 respectively. However, the median value
(3.5 mg L-1) of base flow event is lower than median value (4.0 mg L-1) of storm flow event. The
minimum value of BOD5 for base and storm flow events are same i.e. 1.0 mg/L as shown in Fig. 3(a).
Whereas, for Melaka catchment, the maximum BOD5 concentration for base flow event i.e. 14.0 mg L-1
is higher than BOD5 concentration during storm flow event i.e. 10.0 mg L-1. However, the minimum
and median values of BOD5 for base and storm flow events are 1.0 and 3.0 mg L-1 respectively, as
indicated in Fig. 3(b).
In Linggi catchment, the maximum TSS and median values (i.e. 2.950 and 153 mg L -1 respectively)
for base flow event are consistently lower than corresponding values for storm flow events (156 mg L -1
and 63 mg L-1, respectively) except for the minimum value. The minimum value of TSS during base
flow event (11 mg L-1) is a little higher than the minimum value of TSS for storm flow event (3 mg L -1)
as illustrated in Fig. 3(c). On the other hand, in Melaka catchment, the maximum (728.0 mg L-1),
minimum (9.0 mg L-1) and median values (104 mg L-1) for storm flow event are obviously higher than
those values for base flow event (465.0 5.0 and 55 mg L-1, respectively) which are shown in Fig. 3(d).
In the assessment for NH3-N in Linggi catchment, the maximum (4.71 mg L-1) and median values
(0.9 mg L-1) during the base flow event are evidently higher than corresponding values for storm flow
event (2.15 and 0.28 mg L-1, respectively) except for the minimum values that are similar for both
events as shown in Fig. 3(e). The minimum value of NH3-N for base and storm flow event is 0.01 mg/L.
While, for Melaka catchment, the maximum value (1.01 mg L-1) for storm flow event is consistently
superior with the corresponding value for base flow event (0.9 mg L-1). Conversely, the median value
(0.45 mg L-1) for base flow event is consistently higher than corresponding value for base flow event
(0.20 mg L-1).

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40 16
BOD Flow Discharge BOD Flow Discharge
2004 - 2008 Base Flow Storm Flow 2004 - 2008 Base Flow Storm Flow
35 Minimum 1 1 14 Minimum 1 1
Median 3.5 4 Median 3 3
Maximum 27 26 Maximum 14 10
30 12

25 10
BOD (mg/l)

BOD (mg/l)
20 8

15 6

10 4

5 2

0 0
Base flow Storm flow Base flow Storm flow

(a) (b)
3000 900
TSS Flow Discharge TSS Flow Discharge
2004 - 2008 Base Flow Storm Flow 2004 - 2008 Base Flow Storm Flow
Minimum 11 3 800 Minimum 5 9
2500 Median 62.5 153 Median 55 104
Maximum 156 2950 Maximum 465 728
700

2000 600

500
TSS (mg/l)

TSS (mg/l)

1500

400

1000 300

200
500

100

0
0
Base flow Storm flow
Base flow Storm flow

(c) (d)
5 1.4
NH3 Flow Discharge NH3 Flow Discharge
2004 - 2008 Base Flow Storm Flow 2004 - 2008 Base Flow Storm Flow
Minimum 0.01 0.01 Minimum 0.01 0.01
1.2
Median 0.90 0.28 Median 0.45 0.20
4
Maximum 4.71 2.15 Maximum 0.90 1.01

1.0

3
NH3-NL (mg/l)
NH3-NL (mg/l)

0.8

0.6
2

0.4

0.2

0 0.0
Base flow Storm flow Base flow Storm flow

(e) (f)
Fig. 3. The comparison of BOD5 (a) & (b), TSS (c) & (d) and NH3 (e) & (f) during base and storm
flow events for Linggi and Melaka catchments respectively.

Figure 3(f) shows that NH3-N concentration of the river during the base flow event is prevalent
compare to the NH3-N concentration of storm flow event. By comparing both rivers condition during

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DOI:10.4186/ej.2011.15.4.41

the base and storm flow events for the observed time period i.e. (2004-2008), it is apparent that water
quality in Linggi River is more impaired in terms of major water quality parameters i.e. BOD 5, TSS and
NH3-N during both base and storm flow events compared to the water quality condition in Melaka
catchment.
In Linggi catchment, the BOD5 concentrations of the water samples that exceed the standard are
about 50% out of total samples and the higher violation i.e. 71.4% has occurred during the base flow
event, which is proved that point source pollutants have greatly impacted the BOD 5 condition. In
addition, TSS and NH3-N of the total water samples that exceed the standard are 78.3% and 81.8%
respectively as shown in Table 5. This shows that the violation level has affected the water quality of
Linggi river catchment significantly as more than 50 percent of the water samples had exceeded the
INWQS. By consideration in BOD5 and TSS, the total water samples that exceed the INWQS values,
the majority are occurred in the storm flow event i.e. for BOD5 (62.5%) and TSS (81.25%) and it must
be highlighted that 100% violation for TSS has occurred during the storm flow event.
On the other hand, in Melaka catchment, the BOD5 concentration of the total water samples exceeds
the INWQS values, and majority are during the base flow event. This proves that greater violation has
occurred during the base flow event compare to storm flow which is 40% and specified in Table 5. This
result is supported by box whisker analysis which signified point sources as main pollutant sources
impacting BOD5 conditions in Melaka catchment. In addition, the TSS concentration of the water
samples that exceed the standard is 64.4% out of the total water samples which is higher than BOD5 and
NH3-N of water samples in the storm flow event. Besides, higher violation has occurred during the
storm flow, and this result is also supported by the outcome of box whisker analysis.

Table 5. Water Quality Parameter Violations for Linggi and Melaka Catchments.

Total Water
Water Quality Samples Exceeding Standard (%)
Total Water Samples
Parameters
Samples Exceeding of During Base During Storm
(mg/L)
Standard (%) Flow Flow
Linggi River Catchment
BOD5 24 50 71.4 20
TSS 23 78.3 61.5 100
NH3-N 22 81.8 91.7 70
Melaka River Catchment
BOD5 59 28.8 40 25
TSS 59 64.4 60 65.9
NH3-N 59 32.2 46.7 27.3

Following is Fig. 4 and Table 6 that illustrates the land use distribution for Linggi and Melaka
watersheds at present period. The land use activities are been divided into five categories which are
water body, agricultural and farming, forest, industry and residential. According to this percentage
variation, Melaka catchment possesses higher land use percentage for all land use activities compare to
Linggi catchment. It is clearly shown that the agricultural and farming are the major activities in both
Linggi and Melaka catchments at the present period compare to the other land use activities.

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%
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(c) Linggi (d) Melaka


Fig. 4. Land use distribution for (a) Linggi, (b) Melaka and pollution sources, (c) Linggi, and (d)
Melaka.

Agricultural and farming are the leading non-point sources of water quality impacts in both
watersheds. Non-point water pollution by agricultural activities is mainly from leaching or run-off of
fertilizers used in the oil palm and rubber plantations nearby the watersheds. The primary sources of
NH3-N are the sewage and wastewater discharges from urban areas including septic tanks, sewage
treatment plants and untreated sullage discharges.

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DOI:10.4186/ej.2011.15.4.41

Table 6. Percentage of land use area for Linggi and Melaka river catchments.

Area (Percentage)
Current Land Use
Linggi Melaka
Agricultural and Farming 57.8 69.4
Built up/residential 10.9 16.5
Industry 1.6 2.7
Forest 26.5 3.5
Water Body 3.2 7.9

To sum up, it should be highlighted that TSS and NH3-N are the primary causes for water quality
impairment in Linggi catchment. For Melaka catchment, TSS is identified the main cause of water
quality impairment. Agricultural and farming are the leading non-point sources of water quality impacts
in both watersheds. The primary sources of NH 3-N are the sewage and wastewater discharges from
urban areas [12], including septic tanks, sewage treatment plants and untreated sullage discharges.
Based on the overall outcomes from this study, it is suggested that TSS and NH 3-N are cited as the
leading causes of impairment/violations in both rivers and top sources of impairment included
agricultural activities, hydrologic modifications (such as dredging, water diversions and channelization)
and sewages.

4. Conclusions

The Linggi catchment has higher impacts in terms of three major water quality parameters, BOD 5, TSS
and NH3-N which is due to Rubber and Palm Oil Mills industrial activities that generated more impacts
in these constituents.
TSS and NH3-N are the primary causes for water quality impairment in Linggi River with
concentration of about 78.3% and 81.8% respectively. However, for Melaka catchment, TSS is
identified as the main cause of water quality impairment, when 64.4% of the total water samples exceed
the standard.
The results of this study would provide useful information for development of best management
practices in the Linggi and Melaka catchments and similar study areas.

5. References

[1] L. D. Joseph, Non point sources of pesticides in the San Joaquin river, California: Input from
winter storm, 1992 to 1993, in River Quality: Dynamic and Restoration, New York: Lewis
publishers, 1997, pp. 293-323.
[2] G. Kovacs, Decision Support Systems for Managing Large International Rivers, in E.
Vlachos, A. Webb, and I. Murphy (Eds), in The Management of International River Basin
Conflicts, 1986, pp. 132-133.
[3] E. Ngoye and J. F. Machiwa, The Influence of Land Use Patterns in the Ruvu River
Watershed on Water Quality in the River System, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, vol. 29,
pp. 11611166, 2004.
[4] DOE., Environmental Quality Report, Department of Environment, Ministry of Science,
Technology and Environment, Malaysia, 2009.
[5] M. Vega, R. Pardo, E. Barrado, and L. Deban, Assessment of Seasonal and Polluting Effects
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35813592, 1998.
[6] W. W. Miller, H. M. Joung, C. N. Mahannah, and J. R. Garrett, Identification of Water Quality
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[7] J. H. Kim, C. M. Choi, S. B. Kim, and S. K. Kwun, Water Quality Monitoring and
Multivariate Statistical Analysis for Rural Streams in South Korea, Paddy and Water
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[8] O. F. Durdu, Assessment of Stochastic Models for Prediction of River Water Quality in the
Byk Menderes Catchment, Turkey, Fresenius Environmental Bulletin, vol. 18, no. 9, pp.
1578-1587, 2009.
[9] R. Li, M. Dong, Y. Zhao, L. Zhang, Q. Cui, and W. He, Assessment of Water Quality and
Identification of Pollution Sources of Plateau Lakes in Yunnan (China), Journal of
Environmental Quality, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 291-297, 2007.
[10] Interim National Water Quality Standards of Malaysia (INWQS), Class II Water Quality
Standard. Available: http://www.doe.gov.my
[11] M. Eisakhani, A. Pauzi, O. Karim, A. Malakahmad, S.R. Mohamed Kutty, and M.H. Isa, GIS-
Based Non-Point Sources of Pollution Simulation in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia,
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[12] F. J. Brenner and J. J. Mondok, Nonpoint Source Pollution Potential in an Agricultural
Watershed in Northwestern Pennsylvania, Water Resources Bulletin, American Water
Resources Association, vol. 31, no. 6, pp.1101-1112, 1995.

52 ENGINEERING JOURNAL Volume 15 Issue 4, ISSN 0125-8281 (http://www.ej.eng.chula.ac.th/eng/)