Am­bi­ent wa­ter qual­ity mon­i­tor­ing

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -


It de­ter­mines if com­pli­ance with pol­lu­tion reg­u­la­tion is be­ing met or if im­ple­men­ta­tion of ef­fec­tive pol­lu­tion con­trol ac­tion is needed;

Wa­ter qual­ity in­for­ma­tion is im­por­tant for pub­lic safety, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, and eco­nomic growth. EMA’s role in waste and ef­flu­ent dis­charge Wa­ter and ef­flu­ent dis­charge mon­i­tor­ing falls in line with the Agency’s mis­sion to reg­u­late, mon­i­tor and pro­mote sus­tain­able man­age­ment of nat­u­ral re­sources and pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment. Wa­ter is an es­sen­tial re­source for life and good health. The Agency is al­ways mon­i­tor­ing wa­ter qual­ity and pe­nal­is­ing of­fend­ers in line with en­vi­ron­men­tal leg­is­la­tion. Since 2010, 664 or­ders have been is­sued to stop var­i­ous mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties from dis­charg­ing raw ef­flu­ent into wa­ter bod­ies.

The En­vi­ron­ment Man­age­ment Board has called var­i­ous mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­i­ties to an­swer to charges of dis­charg­ing un­treated sewage into wa­ter bod­ies namely, Chin­hoyi, Chegutu, Harare, Chi­tung­wiza and Nor­ton whilst the ju­di­ciary has han­dled ten cases of the dis­charge of raw sewage into wa­ter bod­ies by mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Of th­ese only four were fi­nalised with the pol­luters pe­nalised and or­dered to stop dis­charg­ing raw sewage into the en­vi­ron­ment.

The health con­se­quences aris­ing from wa­ter pol­lu­tion im­pede de­vel­op­ment hence the need for all of us to be part of ef­forts to con­serve and pro­tect the re­source.

In Zim­babwe pol­luted wa­ter sources led to the death of over 4 000 from cholera and left over 100 000 peo­ple sick with di­ar­rhoeal dis­eases. Waste and ef­flu­ent leg­is­la­tion The En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Act (Chap­ter 20:27) and Statu­tory In­stru­ment 6 of 2007 En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment (Ef­flu­ent and Solid Waste Dis­posal) Reg­u­la­tions gov­ern ef­flu­ent dis­charge in Zim­babwe.

The Act de­fines ef­flu­ent as “waste wa­ter or other fluid orig­i­nat­ing from do­mes­tic, agri­cul­tural and in­dus­trial ac­tiv­ity, whether treated or un­treated and whether dis­charged di­rectly or in­di­rectly into the en­vi­ron­ment,” and com­pels all op­er­a­tors who dis­charge ef­flu­ent into the en­vi­ron­ment to:

Pro­vide the En­vi­ron­ment Man­age­ment Board with ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion on the quan­tity and qual­ity of the dis­charge;

Dis­charge ef­flu­ent or other pol­lu­tants orig­i­nat­ing from trade or in­dus­trial un­der­tak­ing only into an ex­ist­ing sew­er­age sys­tem;

Get an ef­flu­ent dis­charge li­cence is­sued by the Agency and pay a pre­scribed fee for such dis­charge;

In­stall an ap­pro­pri­ate plant for the treat­ment of ef­flu­ent be­fore it is dis­charged into the en­vi­ron­ment. Classes of ef­flu­ent dis­charge li­cences The Agency is guided by the li­cence clas­si­fi­ca­tion cri­te­ria con­tained in the Third Sched­ule of Statu­tory In­stru­ment 6 of 2007 En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment (Ef­flu­ent and Solid Waste Dis­posal) Reg­u­la­tions, in is­su­ing the ef­flu­ent dis­charge li­cences and test­ing the pa­ram­e­ters of the dis­charge as out­lined in the Fourth Sched­ule of the Statu­tory In­stru­ment . The li­cences are clas­si­fied as fol­lows:

A blue li­cence in re­spect of a dis­posal which is con­sid­ered to be en­vi­ron­men­tally safe;

A green li­cence in re­spect of a dis­posal that is con­sid­ered to present a low en­vi­ron­men­tal hazard;

A yel­low li­cence in re­spect of a dis­posal; which is con­sid­ered to present a medium en­vi­ron­men­tal hazard; and

A red li­cence in re­spect of a dis­posal that is con­sid­ered to present a high en­vi­ron­men­tal hazard.

Im­pacts of en­vi­ron­ment

Eu­troph­i­ca­tion due to high lev­els of ni­trates and phos­phates;

Oxy­gen de­ple­tion in wa­ter bod­ies af­fect­ing aquatic life; Drink­ing wa­ter costs sky rocket;

Bio-ac­cu­mu­la­tion of heavy met­als in or­gan­isms;

Spread of wa­ter borne dis­eases such as cholera and ty­phoid;

A de­cline in the wa­ter qual­ity lead­ing to health com­pli­ca­tions;

Re­duced ecosys­tem pro­vi­sion of fish­eries. Ef­flu­ent mon­i­tor­ing ac­tiv­i­ties The Agency car­ries out var­i­ous mon­i­tor­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in line with its man­date of en­sur­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion which in­clude the mon­i­tor­ing of:

Di­rect dis­charges from in­dus­tries, agri­cul­tural and min­ing op­er­a­tions; it in­cludes sewage treat­ment plants, set­tling ponds and sep­tic tanks, min­ing dis­charges and agri­cul­tural waste such as the dis­posal of waste from pig­gery projects;

Am­bi­ent wa­ter mon­i­tor­ing which in­volves the col­lec­tion of wa­ter sam­ples from var­i­ous am­bi­ent points coun­try­wide for anal­y­sis by the EMA lab­o­ra­tory and;

Bio mon­i­tor­ing, which is the as­sess­ment of the eco­log­i­cal con­di­tions of wa­ter bod­ies and their abil­ity to sus­tain life. This in­volves ex­am­in­ing the or­gan­isms that live in th­ese wa­ter bod­ies.

Wa­ter qual­ity mon­i­tor­ing helps the Agency to reg­u­late the ac­tiv­i­ties within a catch­ment. The ills that we do on land are mir­rored in rivers and streams. ef­flu­ent dis­charge into the ser­vices and the

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