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Chatzinikolaou Y., Ioannou A., Lazaridou M.

Intra-basin spatial approach on pollution load
estimation in a large Mediterranean river . – Desalination. 2010 (1 January) Volume 250,
Issue 1, Pages 118-129. [Yorgos]

Yorgos Chatzinikolaou a, b, Alexis Ioannou a and Maria Lazaridou a

aDepartment of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR-54124, Thessaloniki, Greece;
bInstitute of Inland Waters, Hellenic Center for Marine Research, P.O. Box 712, GR-19013,
Anavyssos, Attica, Greece;

ABSTRACT: In order to find the segments of Pinios River which lack the retention capacity of the
BOD and nutrient input, the difference of the estimated input and output pollution loads was
compared at upstream and downstream clustered areas of a total of 73 segments. Catchment areas
ranged from 1 to 11,300 km2. Emissions were always higher than the actual transport, therefore
retention was assumed to take place. Specific runoff, percentage of the surface water area and the
calculated input of pollution loads (BOD, P, N) varied between the different Pinios River basin
catchment areas. The transport to the emission load ratio was different between large and small
catchments. The rate of retention among consecutive segments revealed that four lowland
segments lacked in their relative retention capacity.

Keywords: Biochemical oxygen demand; Nutrient retention; Organic pollution load; Nutrient
pollution load; Pinios River; BOD; catchment area; retention capacity; water quality; aquatic

Article Outline
1. Introduction
2. Area description
3. Materials and methods

3.1. Preliminary water bodies
3.2. Transported pollution load measurement
3.3. Emitted pollution load estimation
3.4. Pollution load retention
3.5. Reliability of emitted pollution load estimation
3.6. Statistical analysis

4. Results and discussion

4.1. Transported load
4.2. Pollution load emissions proportion
4.3. Reliability of emission loads' estimation
4.4. Assimilation inefficient segments
5. Conclusions
6. Annexes

Fig. 1. The river basin of Pinios and the 89 sampling sites for the physicochemical parameters
located at the main river and at the confluence of its main tributaries.

Fig. 2. The GIS extrapolation method for the calculation of point and non-point pollution loads in
each catchments produced by the sampling sites in Pinios river basin. I) 89 sampling sites and the
relief of Pinios River basin producing II) the 89 overlapped catchment areas, III) point pollution
inventory calculated at commune level (NUTS5), and (IV) diffuse pollution load inventory
calculated from Corine land-uses.

Fig. 3. I) Cumulative transported equivalent pollution load (L) (t/year) measured during the low
flow period (2002).Composition of the emitted load (E) (t/year) of: II) phosphorus and III) nitrate
loads according to their sources.

Fig. 4. I) The measured transported BOD load at Pinios River during the low flow season (2002)
and the estimated total emitted BOD load that was calculated from the animal production (II), the
industry (III) and the domestic wastes (IV). Area A is located at the Amygdalea straits.

Fig. 5. Ι) The transported P load at Pinios River during the low flow season (2002) and the
estimated diffuse pollution P load and II) the estimated point pollution P load. Area A is located at
the confluence of Koutsohero, B is at the industrial area of Larisa and C is at the downstream end
of Tempi gorge.

Fig. 6. Ι) The transported Ν load at Pinios River during the low flow season (2002) and the
estimated diffuse pollution Ν load, II) the estimated point pollution Ν load. Area A is located
upstream of the Trikala canal confluence, B is at the industrial area of Larisa and C is the furthest
downstream site.

Fig. 7. Dependency of the transport to emission ratio (R) of the BOD and nutrients on the
catchment size for the 89 different catchments within Pinios River basin.

Fig. 8. The standardized pollution load retention (RL) at Pinios River sub-basins (>1000 km2). The
vertical cross lines refer to the segments that showed a lack in RL of BOD P and N, in comparison
to the previous segment.

Table 1. The criteria used to define the homogenous segments of Pinios River.
Table 2. Emission factors from Ioannou et al. [20] for the calculation of domestic, animal
husbandry and diffuse pollution emissions at Pinios River basin.
WWTP is waste water treatment plantation.
Table 3. BOD5, soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) and dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentration
among different large northern Greek rivers (river basin > 10,000 km2).
View table in article

Sites were located across the river from the furthest source to the mouth. The number in brackets
next to the river name concern the number of sites for which the average values were calculated.
Samples were taken in different years but always during the end of the low flow period.
Table 4. Stepwise linear regression model for transported loads of BOD, phosphorus and nitrogen.
Corresponding Author Contact InformationCorresponding author.
P.O. Box 712, Institute of Inland Waters, Hellenic Centre of Marine Research, GR 19013,
Anavyssos, Greece. Tel.: +30 2291076395.

Desalination, Volume 250, Issue 1, 1 January 2010, Pages 118-129