Levels Of Pollution In The Brisbane River Environmental Sciences Essay

River Brisbane is the longest river in the southeast Queensland of Australia. It originated from the foothills of the great dividing and flows through Brisbane metropolis before let go ofing its H2O into Moreton bay. The river was named after Thomas Brisbane, New South Wales Governor, by John Oxley in 1823. The river provided and still provides a chief signifier of conveyance between the metropolis of Brisbane and Sydney. Before the European colony Brisbane River was really clean and uncontaminated. It was so used as a beginning of nutrient and besides for recreational intents.

For rather a long clip the growing and colony of people around river Brisbane has adversely affected the quality of its H2O every bit good as the life that it supports ( Straughan 1972 p. 93 ) . As the town of Brisbane grew the river became really ill-defined and polluted and by 1928 the H2O quality had deteriorated to the extent that it was non safe even for bath. However the authorities of Australia decided to protect the river from pollution and by following antipollution Acts of the Apostless every bit good as educating the populace on the importance of protecting the environment.

The river was used the beginning for agricultural H2O and besides provided sand used in the building around the turning metropolis. The river faced so many hazards of pollution from the turning industries and from the wastrel vass that transported crude oil merchandises and other substances. Nitrogen from sewerage intervention and phosphoric from industrial discharge every bit good as other metals, were and still are among the chief pollutants ( MacKey, Hodgkinson & A ; Nardella 1992 ) . However the informations taken on the N and P degrees in the river shows that the attempts of protecting the river have bared some fruits.

In 2000 the mean N degrees were approximately 2. 2mg/l while in 2009 the mean degree had dropped to 0. 5mg/l. A graph plotted for both N and phosphoric show a lessening in their concentration in the river. Introduction For more than 400 million old ages now, the Brisbane River has been fluxing. Its catchments have endured a figure of inundations and drouths seasons while its beginnings have continuously shifted as the environing land kept altering from clip to clip. In 1823 when John Oxley entered River Brisbane for the first clip, the river was really clean and uncontaminated.

After a piece Oxley realized that the river could be used as a new site for new colony and through his suggestion, the metropolis of Brisbane was developed alongside the River in 1825. The Brisbane River, whose beginning is at the base of Great Dividing Range, has a catchment country of about 30,000km square and it releases its H2O into the bay of Moreton ( National Library of Australia 1988 ) . The one time pure H2O of Brisbane was largely used for imbibing and for recreational intents like swimming and the similar. However as the metropolis of Brisbane developed, industries started turning in it.

At that clip industries took the river as an efficient and inexpensive point for waste disposal. The Brisbane River was the lone agencies of conveyance between Brisbane town and Sydney until when the route links were established. This river has for long been the most of import plus for of Brisbane metropolis as its still used for transit, recreational and relaxation intents. For the better portion of the 20th century, this river has been polluted and overused as its basin provided croping evidences every bit good as fertile lands for agribusiness ( Institution of Engineers, Australia, 1986).

Harmonizing to AsiaRooms. com, the river basin besides provided suited catchment countries which could be used for damming intents. The river presented several advantages which for the town and its people but the people exploited these advantages so heedlessly such that self reparation appeared impracticable. Today the Brisbane River has undergone considerable alterations to run into the demands of the metropolis ‘s population which is increasing.

Through diverse public consciousness on the demand to protect the environment, the river has gained important political support in signifier of anti-pollution Acts of the Apostless and policies that were adopted by the authorities ( Doyle ; A ; Kellow 1995 p. 180 ) . Presently the responsibility of look intoing pollution degrees and H2O quality of river Brisbane is presently on the Queensland parliament. The parliament has so far made a batch of advancement in its attempts of keeping the quality of the river by set uping two anti-pollution Acts of the Apostless.

These Acts of the Apostless comprise the 1971 ; ‘Clean Waters Act ‘ and the ‘Pollution of Waters by Oil ‘ of 1973. Due to the current public consciousness on environmental protection and by the aid of these Acts of the Apostless, the quality of River Brisbane has significantly improved although it ‘s non yet at the safe degrees. Harmonizing to Doyle & A ; Kellow ( 1995 ) , the River is presently back uping a population of 2 million people while conveyance and industries and still dependent on the river, which so helps to understand why its pollution degree is still above the safe degrees ( p. 180 ) .

The purpose of this essay is to give a study on the degrees of pollution of Brisbane River from the twelvemonth 2001 to 2010. For the 150 old ages that the Europeans have occupation the part, River Brisbane has seen a figure of alterations. The river has survived moving ridges of geographic expedition including agribusiness, graze, urbanisation and colony, etc. the urbanisation and colony required flood extenuation schemes and H2O storage for imbibing intents ( Straughan 1972 p. 94 ) . Transporting channels and inundation bar steps besides needed to be taken as the river was the chief agencies of conveyance between the metropolis and Sydney.

Sand dredging along the river has been the chief activity as sand was extremely needed for building in the metropolis. Between the twelvemonth 1900 and 1970 about 12 million three-dimensional metres of sand were extracted from the Bankss of River Brisbane. Extraction reached its peak latter in mid 70s when about 1. 45 million three-dimensional metres of sand were being extracted yearly. The extraction subsequently dropped to 1 million per twelvemonth and finally ceased in 1996/7. The wealths of the river between meitnerium Crosby and Wivehoe are most pleasing aesthetically because of their cool atmosphere.

Between Jindalee and meitnerium. Crosby the river widens and so flows through rural and residential countries. In this country pollution by human existences is really apparent and likely. Presently the Brisbane port is accountable for extraction of sand in the lower ranges of the river so as to keep deep channels for H2O vass. This long clip dredging has well deepened the river hence doing its Bankss rather unstable ( Olafson 1978 ) . Strong urban development has been apparent throughout the metropolis and on the south bank range.

As this river proceeds towards the Pinkenba, commercial and industrial countries dominate while farther down from Murarie to the oral cavity, the river passes through Rhizophora mangle lined part which is dominated by commercial transportation activity ( MacKey, Hodgkinson & A ; Nardella 1992 p 418-420 ) . The velocity of H2O in this part is frequently determined by season. In this part the river reaches its highest flow velocity during summer when there is high rainfall while the minimal flow is in winter when rainfall is minimum.

Due to the slow flow of H2O in this part, there is likeliness of pollutants accretion and overall impairment of H2O quality. However this accretion of pollutants can be cleaned by the release of H2O from storage dikes situated in the river upstream. Wivenhoe and Somerset dikes release certain sums of H2O that are satisfactory to the H2O demands of the people of Brisbane. These two dikes enable a more even H2O flow throughout the twelvemonth therefore keeping and bettering the quality of H2O in the river.

The dikes are besides used as a agency for inundation bar by cut downing H2O flow from the scope. Analysis of the past and current pollutants of river Brisbane Harmonizing to Connell & A ; Shaw ( 1980 ) , the major beginnings of pollutants of the river comprise the many big graduated table discharge points where wastes from industries and intervention workss discharge into the river ( p. 356-358 ) . Presently the discharge from sewerage is treated to a safer secondary criterion with merely a little part of it being left in the primary criterion.

The little part of primary standard sewerage discharged into river Brisbane does non merely lend well to the poisonous burden in the river but besides to the alimentary burden and increased demand for O. This pollution leads to the taint of fish and other aquatic life by such substances. Sewage discharge around the metropolis of Brisbane is normally chlorinated hence doing a negative impact to the river. The most common discharges to river Brisbane resulted from the extremely industrialised subdivision of the river.

The metropolis of Brisbane has two chief intervention workss for waste H2O every bit good as Gibson Island on the Southside and a baggage point on the North side both of which are found at the industrialised subdivision of the river. Furthermore River Brisbane faces other hazards of pollution from the BP and Caltex oil refineries which discharge into the river discharge watercourses from potentially contaminated countries. Other discharges into the river such as overflow from the urban and industrial parts, and from upstream parts of the catchment, discharge significant toxic pollutants into the river ( Wong & A ; Tam 2005 ) .

Sometimes accidents occur ensuing to spills of crude oil and insect powders among other substances. This frequently consequences to taint of the river taking to angle decease and other H2O lives. For case in April 1998, a oiler known as Barrington was docked at White Island in Brisbane collided with a local boat named Austral Salvor. This accident resulted to a spill of 8 metric tons of heavy fuel into the river. Decision In order to urge any possible steps that can assist better the quality of River Brisbane one must understand the yesteryear and the current pollutions features of the river.

In this paper, the pollution analysis of river Brisbane is based on the informations provided by Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management. Nitrogen and phosphoric which are the chief pollutants of the river have been measured and their degrees in the river minimized. Nitrogen is found in fertilisers and it normally reaches the river when rain H2O passes through agricultural Fieldss where fertiliser has been applied. It ‘s besides produced during sewerage intervention processes. Phosphorous is produced in the waste intervention workss in Brisbane and from confined farm animal operations.

Harmonizing to Cambridge Scientific Abstracts ( 1997 ) , both N and phosphoric are can be harmful and toxic to aquatic life since their enhance growing of aquatic workss which so depletes the H2O of O hence presenting danger to angle and other beings ( p. 35 ) . The graph below shows the degrees of N and phosphoric in River Brisbane from the twelvemonth 2000 to 2009. The concentration of these pollutants was measured in mgs per liter of H2O. Fig. 1 graph of N and phosphoric concentration against old ages From the graph we see that in 2000 the degree of N in river Brisbane was rather high with more than 2mg of N in every liter of H2O.

However due to the extended public consciousness and the anti-pollution steps taken by the authorities these degrees reduced drastically between 2000/1 to below 1. 5 mg/l. the downward tendency in lessening of nitrogen continued until 2008 when the mean degree was approximately 0. 5 mg/l. in 2009 the degrees appeared to be lifting once more which shows that the authorities every bit good as the general populace of Brisbane may hold relaxed in its attempts to keeping the quality of the river.

On the other manus phosphoric degrees have been low all through with degree of below 0. mg/l in 2000. The phosphoric degrees have besides shown a general downward tendency and demo a likely goon of making nothing degrees within the following few old ages if the same tendency is maintained. The analysis of the yesteryear and the present pollution state of affairss of river Brisbane indicate the authorities every bit good as the local governments have done enormous work in commanding the H2O quality of the river. If the attempts are maintained, the river will make its old clean degrees within a few old ages.