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To determine the water quality status of the primary tributaries in middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River Basin, water collected from the confluence of the ten tributaries and some physical, chemical and biological parameters were analyzed, and then water quality index and health risk were evaluated. Of the ten main tributaries in the middle and lower reaches, only the Qingshui River had water of medium quality in the upper reaches, while all the other tributaries contributed water of poor quality. The Jindi and Dawen rivers in the lower reaches had the poorest water quality, especially the Jindi River. TP, TN, BOD, COD, TOC and coliform bacteria exceeded the national criteria by 155%, 1%, 97.5%, 35.5%, 114.2%, and 80%, respectively. Cluster analysis indicated that industrial, agricultural, and domestic sewage, along with industrial waste gas, were the main sources of pollution in these tributaries. An analysis of the bacterial community structure showed that the Jindi River was the most polluted and had the largest species diversity and richness of bacteria. Also, its number of pathogenic microorganisms was much higher than that of other areas, and the bacterial functional genes of related metabolic pathways were significantly enriched. This was in sharp contrast with that of the Qingshui River, which had the best water quality. We suggest more specifics policy should be taken for different tributaries, and poor water quality of Jindi and Dawen River should be further studied to explore the most suitable pollution control methods.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Science of the total environment
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