GEP  Vol.5 No.9 , September 2017
Biomonitoring of Mucheke and Shagashe Rivers in Masvingo, Zimbabwe Using Macro-Invertebrates as Indicators of Water Quality
Abstract: The traditional way of assessing water quality of water bodies is through measurement of biological, physical and chemical parameters. However, such assessments only reflect the concentration of pollutants at the time of sampling not periodic pollution events. The goal of the study was to evaluate the river health using the macro-invertebrates that are found within the Mucheke and Shagashe rivers of Masvingo City as water quality monitors. The South African Scoring System (SASS 5) was used to score using the sensitivity of macro-invertebrates to levels of pollution in the two river systems. The data collection process was carried in April 2017 at four sampling sites using the kick sampling method and results validated by testing the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the water and comparing them with the macro-invertebrates score. Results showed that the mean sensitivity score of macro-invertebrates showed variations depending on the selected site. Sample sites B2 and A2 downstream of the two river systems show high levels pollution tolerant macro-invertebrates as compared to sites A1 and B1 that are on the upper course and have more of pollution sensitive macro-invertebrates. On validation, to a large extent the levels of pollution indicated by macro-invertebrates were found to be congruent to the levels of pollution indicated by the physical, chemical and biological parameters. The research concludes that the presence of specific types of macro-invertebrates can be used to assess the levels of pollution in Mucheke and Shagashe rivers of Masvingo City.
Cite this paper: Chikodzi, D. , Mabhegedhe, M. and Tunha, T. (2017) Biomonitoring of Mucheke and Shagashe Rivers in Masvingo, Zimbabwe Using Macro-Invertebrates as Indicators of Water Quality. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 5, 221-237. doi: 10.4236/gep.2017.59016.

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