Assessment on Nutrient Status in Water and Sediment Quality of Bertam River, Cameron Highlands

Author(s): Wan Mohd Afiq Wan Mohd Khalik, Md Pauzi Abdullah, Norfaizan Padli and Nur Amirah Amerudin

A study of present nutrient status was carried out at Bertam River, Cameron Highlands within month of August - October 2012. Six sampling stations were selected representing open water body of the river catchments and sediment beds. An experimental activity involved analysis of nitrogen and phosphorus based parameter for water matrices as well as sediment quality such as particle size and organic carbon content. Results obtained indicate that the present nitrate content in river water (1.55 ± 0.09 mgL-1) did not exceed the national (NDWQS) and international (WHO) maximum permissible safe limit for drinking purposed but phosphate (0.96 ± 0.20 mgL-1) exceed recommended standards. While relative accumulation index indicated that nitrate and phosphate (6.27 ± 3.72; 5.03 ± 3.31 mgL-1) concentrations in sediment were higher till 7.6 and 10.3 times than in water matrices. Texture analysis study classified sand type (70.72-94.12%) as predominant fractions in the sediment particle size and organic carbon has shown variation in study site. Statistical analysis (ANOVA, p < 0.05) showed that there were significant differences for nutrient concentrations in both matrices sample. Therefore, it was also noted that station in the vicinity of open farming practices and poor vegetated riparian at river bank (station 1A) has potential to be polluted among than others.

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