Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11189/7736
Title: A reduction in mining and industrial effluents in the Blesbokspruit Ramsar wetland, South Africa: has the quality of the surface water in the wetland improved?
Authors: Ambani, Annie-Estelle 
Annegarn, Harold John 
Keywords: Acid mine drainage;underground mine-water;Blesbokspruit;Montreux Record;Grootvlei Mine;water quality;circumneutral;Ramsar
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Water Research Commission (WRC)
Source: Ambani, A. E. & Annegarn, H. 2015. A reduction in mining and industrial effluents in the Blesbokspruit Ramsar wetland, South Africa: has the quality of the surface water in the wetland improved? Water SA, 41(5): 648-659. [http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/wsa.v41i5.08]
Journal: Water SA 
Abstract: The Blesbokspruit Wetland, 40 km southeast of Johannesburg, South Africa, was listed as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in 1986. Following discharges of mine-waters in the mid-1990s, the wetland no longer complied with the Ramsar criteria. This paper reports on historical trends in surface water quality of the Blesbokspruit, as a step towards restoration to Ramsar status. Monthly water quality data (SO4 , Na, Cl and Mg concentrations, pH and EC values), from January 2000 to December 2011, were obtained from Rand Water for sites at: the stream inflow, just after the discharge point of pumped underground mine-water from Grootvlei mine, and the stream outflow point. The major ions were grouped into two distinct time-variation patterns (SO4 -Mg) and (Na-Cl). Despite extensive reports that the wetland had an acid mine drainage problem, the pH values over an 11-year period were constrained within a range of 6.7 to 8.8. In 2011, following the cessation of underground mine-water pumping operations, mineralisation of the Blesbokspruit showed a large stepwise reduction, in contrast to a slowly decreasing trend over the previous 10 years, in both the SO4 -Mg and Na-Cl groups, and EC. The stepwise reduction suggests that the pulping plant within the paper mill, a major source of Na-Cl rich effluent, had ceased operations coincidentally with the cessation of underground water discharges. This contradicts previous findings that underground mine-water discharge was the principal contributor to contamination of the Blesbokspruit Wetland. So, while the Blesbokspruit may have had a high mineralisation problem, this was not simply an acid mine drainage problem, but a combination of the effects of mining and industry
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11189/7736
ISSN: 0378-4738
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/wsa.v41i5.08
Appears in Collections:Eng - Journal articles (DHET subsidised)

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