THE WATER QUALITY INDEX (WQI) IN PENANG ISLAND
Journal: Journal of Water Resources (JWR)
Author: Kyle Andrews
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
The purpose of this study is to assess the health status of the selected rivers in Penang Island using the WQI, and also to classify the rivers according to the level of pollution index. Dissolved oxygen (DO), biological oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solid (TSS), ammonia and pH value are the six vital parameters to determine the water quality. The results showed that almost all the rivers in Penang Island were slightly polluted or polluted. The major point sources that cause the pollution of the rivers in Penang Island are domestic sewage and surface run-off. The waste from surrounding communities flows into the rivers, causing degradation of river water quality, especially for the rivers in the eastern and western regions of the Island. The waste water from industrial, residential and commercial areas should be processed and treated before being released into the river. The WQI by the DOE in Malaysia is a useful tool to determine the status level of river water, but it has some limitations such as a lack of biological parameters and not representing all the information about the rivers’ status. Parameters such as fecal coliform, heavy metals, oil and grease should be included in the WQI for Malaysia to get a more accurate reading of the real status of the river water. Therefore, suitable methods and management can be taken to improve the status of the rivers.