Chemical Composition of Industrial Effluents and Their Effect on the Survival of Fish and Eutrophication of Lake Hawassa, Southern Ethiopia


Growing trends in industrialization in Ethiopia have raised concerns about pollution of water bodies particularly of lakes. This study was therefore conducted to 1) characterize the chemical contents of major industrial effluents (namely textile ceramic and soft drink factories) that reached Lake Hawassa and 2) investigate the effects of the above mentioned factory effluents on survival of larvae fish and growth of algae. Effluent samples were collected from the outlet lagoons of each factory in December, 2009. Then, effluent samples were analyzed for total N, NO3-N, NH4-N, S2-, , , COD, total dissolved solids (TDS) and heavy metals at the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Laboratory, Addis Ababa. The experiments on the impact of effluents on survival of fish larvae and growth of algae were conducted using six concrete paved ponds (with different concentration of effluent). The results of chemical analysis showed that textile effluent had high COD (nearly 3 times higher), TDS (19 times higher) as well as (39 times higher) than the maximum permissible limits (MPL) set by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). Among heavy metals, Zn and Fe of textile effluent were much higher (41 and 1.5 times higher, respectively) than the MPL set by EPA. Ceramic effluent also contained high concentration of (24.5 times), S2-, (2 times) and Zn (14 times) exceeding the limit of EPA. Regarding soft drink factory, high values of COD, and Zn were found in the effluent than the limit specified by EPA. The biological treatment lagoons of the respective source were not effective since the effluents were taken from the last treatment lagoon (outlet lagoon) and some of the measured parameters were higher than MPL. Results of the pond experiment showed that 5%, 10% and 20% concentration levels of the HTF effluent killed significantly high proportion of the fry (65%, 86.8% and 88.7%, respectively). In contrast, fry mortality in ceramic and soft drink effluent treatments, even at 10 and 20% concentration levels, stayed nearly below 10%, which were not far off from the mortality of the control groups. Algal biomass in the treated ponds varied with the type of effluent treatment and concentration level. Compared with the first day, chlorophyll “a” concentration measured on the 7th day had increased by 51%, 48%, 74%, 27% and 31% at 0%, 1%, 5%, 10% and 20% concentrations, respectively of textile effluent. The 5% treatment level of textile effluent caused the highest rate of algal growth above the growth rate observed in the control pond, but further increased in concentration to 10% and 20% resulted in a lower growth of algae than in the control pond. Therefore, textile effluent may boost up algae growth at lower concentrations (~5%) but at higher concentration levels its toxic effect may become inhibitory. Regarding the effluent of soft drink factory, algal growth progressively diminished with increasing concentration of the effluent. The overall change (between initial and day 7) in chlorophyll “a” concentration was highest in the control pond (36.2%) and decreased with increasing effluent concentration (1% to 20%) from 21.7% to -9.4%. On the other hand, algal growth under ceramic effluent treatment was comparable with that observed in the control pond.

Share and Cite:

Berehanu, B. , Lemma, B. and Tekle-Giorgis, Y. (2015) Chemical Composition of Industrial Effluents and Their Effect on the Survival of Fish and Eutrophication of Lake Hawassa, Southern Ethiopia. Journal of Environmental Protection, 6, 792-803. doi: 10.4236/jep.2015.68072.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Tudorancea, C., Baxter, R.M. and Fernando, C.H. (1989) A Comparative Limnological Study of Zoobenthic Associations in Lakes of the Ethiopian Rift Valley. Archives of Hydrobiologia/Supplement, 83, 121-174.
[2] Seyoum M. and Fernando, C.H. (1991) Seasonality and Abundance of Some Dominant Crustacean Zooplankton in LakeHawassa, a Tropical Rift Valley Lake in Ethiopia. Hydrobiologia, 226, 137-152.
[3] Kebede, E. (1987) A Seasonal Study on the Species Composition of and Phytoplankton Biomass in Lake Hawassa, Ethiopia. MSc Thesis, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, 70 p.
[4] Dessie, G. and Kleman, J. (2007) Pattern and Magnitude of Deforestation in the South Central Rift Valley Region of Ethiopia. Mountain Research and Development, 27, 162-168.
[5] Zinabu, G.M. and Desta, Z. (2002) The Chemical Composition of the Effluent from Hawassa Textile Factory and Its Effects on Aquatic Biota. SINET: Ethiopian Journal of Science, 25, 263-274.
[6] Tenalem, A. (2007) Water Management Problems in the Ethiopian Rift: Challenges for Development. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 48, 222-236.
[7] Kebede, E. and Belay, A. (1994) Species Composition and Phytoplankton Biomass in a Tropical African Lake (Lake Hawassa, Ethiopia). Hydrobiologia, 288, 13-32.
[8] Zinabu, G.-M. and Pearce, N.J.G. (2003) Concentrations of Heavy Metals and Related Trace Elements in Some Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes and Their Inflows. Hydrobiologia, 429, 171-178.
[9] Zinabu, G.-M. (2002) The Effect of Wet and Dry Seasons on Concentrations of Solutes and Phytoplankton Biomass in Seven Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes. Limnologica, 32, 169-179.
[10] Ataro, A., Wondimu, T. and Chandravanshi, B.S. (2003) Trace Metals in Selected Fish Species from Lakes Hawassa and Ziway, Ethiopia. SINET: Ethiopian Journal of Science, 26, 103-114.
[11] Tekle-Giorgis, Y. (2002) Comparative Age and Growth Assessment of the African Catfish, Clarias gariepinus Burchell (Clariidae) and, Nile Perch, Latesniloticus, Linn (Centropomidae) in the Three Southern Rift Valley Lakes of Ethiopia (Lakes Awassa, Abaya and Chamo). PhD Thesis, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, 160.
[12] Talling, J.F. and Driver, D. (1963) Some Problems in the Estimation of Chlorophyll-a in Phytoplankton. Proceedings of the Conference of Primary Productivity Measurement, Marine and Freshwater, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Atomic Energy Commission TID-7633, 142-146.
[13] Abay, B. (2007) Assessment of Downstream Profiles of Hawassa Textile Effluent along Tikur Wuha River Using Physico-Chemical and Macro Invertebrate Indicators. MSc Thesis, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, 67.
[14] Desta, Z. (1997) Industrial Environmental Management: The Case of Hawassa Textile. MSc Thesis, Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, 95.
[15] Alemayehu, T. (2008) Environmental Resources and Recent Impacts in the Hawassa Collapsed Caldera, Main Ethiopian Rift. Quaternary International, 189, 152-162.
[16] Pala, A. (2001) Chemical Treatment of Textile Wastewaters: Statistical Characterization, Colour and Sulfide Removal. Indian Journal of Environmental, 43, 128-134.
[17] Wynne, G., Maharaj, D. and Buckley, C. (2001) Cleaner Production in the Textile Industry—Lessons from the Danish Experience, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Natal, Durban, 3.
[18] Mathur, N., Bhatnagar, P. and Bakre, P. (2005) Assessing Mutageni City of Textile Dyes from Pali (Rajasthan) Using Ames Bioassay. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research, 4, 111-118.
[19] Yusuff, R.O. and Sonibare, J.A. (2004) Characterization of Textile Industries’ Effluents in Kaduna, Nigeria and Pollution Implications. Global Nest Journal, 6, 211-220.
[20] Berehanu, B. and Lemma, B. (2009) Evaluation of the Ground Water Quality for Drinking and Other Domestic Purpose in Hawassa Town. Research Report. Hawassa University, Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources, Hawassa.
[21] Asamudo, N.U., Daba, A.S. and Ezeronye, O.U. (2005) Bioremediation of Textile Effluent Using Phanerochaete chrysosporium. African Journal of Biotechnology, 4, 1548-1553.
[22] Zinabu, G.M., Pearce, N.J.G. and Ahlgren, I. (2004) Toxic Metals and Related Trace Elements in Some Ethiopian Hot Springs. Ethiopian Jouranal of Biological Sciences, 3, 69-80.
Kebede, E., Zinabu, G.M. and Ahlgren, I. (1994) The Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes: Chemical Characteristics of a Salinity-Alkaline Series. Hydrobiologia, 288, 1-12.
[23] Gebre-Mariam, Z. and Desta, Z. (2002) The Chemical Composition of the Effluent from Hawassa Textile Factory and Its Effects on Aquatic Biota. SINET: Ethiopian Journal of Science, 25, 263-274.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.