Forestry and Enironment Symposium 2000, Sri lanka

Sixth Annual Symposium of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, Sri Lanka. 15- 16 December 2000, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


K. I. A. Kularatne1 K. K. R. Mahanama2
1Department of Forestry and Environmental Science
University of Sri Jayewardenepura
2Department of Chemistry University of Colombo

Sulfur compounds, primarily in the form of sulfides (S2- ), sulfites (S032-) and sulfates (S04 2-) have been neglected but has a strong effect upon water quality. The dark colour sediments and strong unpleasant ordours often indicate the S2-contamination in aquatic bodies. To the best of our knowledge, no attempt has been made to investigate these compounds and to asses their contribution to the degradation of water quality. Both the bacteria and dissolved oxygen (DO) are playing leading roles in determining the fate of S containing compounds in aquatic systems.

In this investigation it was intended to study the possible relationships between sulfur species and DO. Four urban stagnant water bodies effected by improper sewage disposal, industrial waste, wet and dry deposition of atmospheric SO4 2-were investigated along with a prawn farm and two coconut husk soaking pits inherited with S compounds. These water bodies indicated the emission of volatile S compounds. These water bodies indicated the emission of volatile S compounds from their characteristic rotten egg smell.

Under this study S2-, S03-2and S042- levels were monitored along with DO, pH and temperature to investigate the possible correlation method introduced by Pawlak and Pawlak (1999) was employed in determination of S2- levels while all other parameters were measured by employing standard methods.

Based on the results obtained, only S2- shows a significant correlation with DO under ambient conditions. Finally, measured dissolved S'- levels were utilized to determine the possible H2S emission levels. Calculations have shown that each of the water body is emitting gaseous H2S and in most cases, emission levels are greater than the ordour thresholds accounting for the unpleasant smell near these stagnant water bodies.

*Correspondence author


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