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Adam Brysiewicz*, Małgorzata Bonisławska**, Przemysław Czerniejewski**, Bartosz Kierasiński*
*Institute of Technology and Life Sciences, Falenty, Poland; **West Pomeranian University of Technology Szczecin, Poland
corresponding author’s e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

An important source of contamination of inland waters is the content of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds, which in agricultural areas constitute a significant threat by getting into flowing waters. The runoff of mineral substances from areas with high intensification of agriculture contribut to increase of nutrient content in rivers, which often causes disturbances in water quality, with excess nutrients supporting the growth of phytoplankton (algae receipts) and macrophytes and associated with it loss of habitats and desirable plant and animal species. The small rivers play an important role in the water quality of large rivers. The purpose of this work is to assess the quality of water in small lowland rivers, which are tributaries of the Odra and Wisła rivers, with particular emphasis on the content of biogenic compounds (nitrogen and phosphorus forms). The study was carried out on 10 small rivers from the Odra river basin (Płonia, Myśla, Tywa, Rurzyca and Wardynka River), and the Wisła river basin (Habdziński Channel, Zielona, Czarna-Cedron, Kraska and Molnica River). The analyzed water samples in all rivers had increased content of reactive phosphorus, which allows to classify the waters into non-class waters. The highest exceedences were recorded in the Płonia River (on average 1.505 mg P-PO43-/L) in the Odra river basin, while in the in the Wisła basin the highest exceedances were recorded in the Molnica watercourse (average 2.023 mg P-PO43-/L). Also high concentrations of the nitrate-nitrogen content were recorded, and the highest amounts of N-NO3-/L were found in the Rurzyca River (the Odra catchment – 7.321 mg N-NO3-/L) and in Molnica River (Wisła catchment – 5.092 mg N-NO3-/L). Lower values of ammonium nitrogen were found in all tested watercourses, classifying water to the first class of water quality according to Minister of the Environment Regulation (21.07.2016r.). Only increased concentrations classifying the examined waters up to the 2nd water quality class were recorded in the Rurzyca river (Odra catchment - 0.350 mg N-NO3-/L average, and in the Habdziński Channel (Wisła catchment - 0.293 mg N-NO3-/L). Significant increases in the content of biogenic compounds classifying tested waters to the 2nd class and above, were also conducive to low values of oxygen concentration in water and high conductance. For example in the Molnica river, high nitrate nitrogen and phosphate content influenced on low water oxygenation. In addition, there was a very low water level in the watercourse, which could have triggered nutrient loads in bottom sediments. Contamination of waters from agricultural areas with nitrogen and phosphorus compounds may pose a threat to larger rivers to which they can pass without proper monitoring.

watercourses, catchment, water quality, pollution

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