Adaptive Survivability-based Approach to Assess the Health Condition of the Rivers Receiving Wastewaters, Using SOD Rate and Its Associated Parameters (Case study: Karkheh River, Target Zones beside the Pay-e-Pol Plains, SW-Iran)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Water and Wastewater Engineering Group, International Campus (AIC), University of Tehran, Iran

2 College of Engineering, Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Water and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), Tehran, Iran., Iran


As the veins of the Earth, Rivers have a determinative role in regulating the functional behaviors of their linked ecosystems and supporting human life. This research was conducted to address the major issue to assess the river's health and survival condition alongside its vulnerability potential, using a benthic-based sustainability index. For this purpose, river-bed sediment oxygen demand (SOD) rate and its associated factors, including Texture, fine-PSD, Nutrients (TOM), besides some basic field parameters of river-water were measured. All required samples were collected from 9 sampling points located on the target zones of Karkheh River in due course. SOD data with regard to related factors were calculated and analyzed. The rates of SOD ranged from 0.71 to 1.74 g O2/m2/day. Further, this index was classified in varied quality domains. Afterward, a predictive equation was determined among SOD rate and its associated parameters using MATLAB software. Finally, the results revealed that the river health suitability in the research area is in categories moderately clean and slightly degraded during the study period. Additionally, the increase in TOM concentrations, together with a decrease in sediment particle size, led to an increase in SOD-rate accordingly. The source pollution load reduction rate under the optimal suites of BMPs in the range of 15 to 66 percent was also one of the outputs of this research.  In conclusion, the consequences of this study can be used as a rapid diagnostic tool to support regional water authorities and other stakeholders to promote the best practices for protecting the health condition of the riverine system, focusing on selecting the appropriate discharge points along the receiving watercourse and on effectively managing the drain-waters/effluents.


Zhang, H., Jin, G. and Yu, Y. (2018). Review of River Basin Water Resource Management in China. Water, 10, 425.
Falkenmark, M. (2020). Water resilience and human life support - global outlook for the next half century. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 36:2-3, 377-396.
Ashayeri, A.; Karbassi, A.R. and Baghvand, A. (2014). Assessing Darreh-rood river water quality for irrigation using sustainable conservation approach and CCME-WQI model. WSRCJ, 3(4), 51-61.
Ashayeri, A. (2014). Systematic Evaluation of the River Pollution Load and its Vulnerability Potential using Integrated Approach to Bio-Engineering Aspects, Considering Physicochemical and Eco-geomorphologic Indices for determination of its Health Condition and Qualitative Fringe. MS Thesis Report, AIC, University of Tehran, Iran.
Bernhardt, E. S., Sudduth, E.B., Palmer, M.A., Allan, J.D., Meyer, J.L., Alexander, G., Follastad-Shah, J., Hassett, B., Jenkinson, R., Lave, R., Rumps, J. and Pagano, L. (2007). Restoring Rivers One Reach at a Time: Results from a Survey of U.S. River Restoration Practitioners. Restoration Ecology, 15( 3), 482-493.
Berg, M., Meehan, M. and Scherer, T. (2017). Environmental Implications of Excess Fertilizer and Manure on Water Quality. NDSU Extension Service, NM1281, pp.2. (North Dakota: NDSU).
Cardoso, S.J., Quadra, G.R., Nathália da Silva Resende, N.S. and Roland, F. (2019). The role of sediments in the carbon and pollutant cycles in aquatic ecosystems. Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia, (31), 15-23.
Li, Z., Peterse, F., Wu, H., Bao, H., Eglinton, T.I. and Zhang, J. (2015). Sources of organic matter in Changjiang (Yangtze River) bed sediments: Preliminary insights from organic geochemical proxies. Organic Geochemistry, 85, 11-21.
Mudroch, A. and MacKnight, S.D. (1994). Handbook of Techniques for Aquatic Sediments Sampling, pp 256. (Boca Raton: CRC Press).
Ziadat, A.H. and  Berdanier, B.W. (2004). Stream Depth Significance During in-Situ Sediment Oxygen Demand Measurements in Shallow Streams. JAWRA, 40(3), 631-638.
Mezgebu, A., Lakew, A. and Lemma, B. (2019). Water quality assessment using benthic macroinvertebrates as bioindicators in streams and rivers around Sebeta, Ethiopia, African Journal of Aquatic Science, 44:4, 361-367.
Sasha-Musonge, P.L., Boets, P., Lock, K., Damanik Ambarita, M.N., Eurie Forio, M.A. and Goethals, P. LM. (2020). A Benthic Macroinvertebrate Index for Biomonitoring Rivers and Streams in the Rwenzori Region, Uganda. Sustainability, 12 (24), 10473.
Utley, B. C., Vellidis, G., Lowrance, R. and Smith, M.C. (2008). Factors Affecting Sediment Oxygen Demand Dynamics in Blackwater Streams of Georgia’s Coastal Plain. JAWRA, 44(3), 742-753.
Lee-Joseph, H.W., Kuang, C.P. and Yung, K.S. (2000). Analysis of three-dimensional flow in cylindrical sediment Oxygen demand chamber. Applied Mathematical Modeling, 24, 263-278.
USEPA. (1985). Rates, constants and kinetics formulation in surface water quality modeling, second edition. EPA/600/3-85/040. (Georgia: USEPA).
USEPA. (1997). Technical Guidance Manual for Performing Waste-load Allocations, Book II: Streams and Rivers- Part 1: Biochemical Oxygen Demand/Dissolved Oxygen and Nutrients/Eutrophication.Document Number: EPA-823-B-97-002. (Washington, DC: USEPA Standards and Applied Science Division).
Medine, A., D. B. Porcella & D. V. Adams, 1980. Heavymetal and nutrient effects on sediment oxygen demand in three-phase aquatic microcosms. Microcosms in Ecological Research. Technical Information Center, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C. (USA) 52: 279–303.
Chalimond, M.L., Ferreyra, M. and Cossavella, A.M. (2019). Measurement of sediment oxygen demand rates for benthic demand of Tercero (Ctalamochita) River, Córdoba province, Argentina. J-TYCA, 10(2), 241-257.
Yee, L.T., Hazel Pusin, N.M.F., Nyanti, L. and Miod, M.C. (2011). Sediment Oxygen Demand of the Santubong River and Their Contributing Factors. IJAST, 1(6), 162-168.
Doyle, M.C. and Lynch, D.D. (2005). Sediment oxygen demand in Lake Ewauna and the Klamath River, Oregon. U.S. Geological Survey, Scientific Investigations Report2005–5228, 14 p. (Portland, OR: USGS).
Doyle, M.C. and Rounds, S.A. (2003). The effect of chamber mixing velocity on bias in measurement of sediment oxygen demand rates in the Tualatin River Basin, Oregon.U.S. Geological Survey,Water-Resources Investigations Report 03–4097, 16 p. (Portland, OR: USGS).
Moghimi, E. (2009). River Eco-Geomorphology and Rights. (Tehran: University of Tehran Press).
Matlock, M., Kasprzak, K.R. and Osborn, G.S. (2007). Sediment Oxygen Demand in the Arroyo Colorado River. JAWRA, 39(2), 267-275.
Chen, W.B., Liu, W.C. and Huang, L.T. (2012). Measurement of sediment oxygen demand for modeling the dissolved oxygen distribution in a subalpine lake. International Journal of Physical Sciences, 7(27): 5036-5048.
Lee, G.F. and Lee, A.J. (2007). Role of aquatic plant nutrients in causing sediment oxygen demand, part II- sediment oxygen demand. (El Macero, CA: G. Fred Lee and Associates).
UNEP/WHO. (1996). Water Quality Monitoring: A Practical Guide to the Design and Implementation of Freshwater Quality Studies and Monitoring Programmes. (NBO/GN: UNEP/WHO).
USDA. (2014). Soil Taxonomy: A Basic System of Soil Classification for Making and Interpreting Soil Surveys. Twelfth Edition. NRCS Handbook. (Washington, DC: USDA, NRCS Office).
USGS. (2005). Handbooks for Water-Resources Investigations, Chap A8: Bottom-Material Samples, National Field Manual for the Collection of Water-Quality Data,Book 9. (Reston, VA: USGS).
Foster, G.M., King, L.R., and Graham, J.L. (2016). Sediment oxygen demand in eastern Kansas streams, 2014 and 2015. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5113, 19 p. (Reston, VA: USGS).
Heckathorn, H.A. and Jacob Gibs, J. (2010). Sediment Oxygen Demand in the Saddle River and Salem River Watersheds, New Jersey, July–August 2008.Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5093, 10 p. (Reston, VA: USGS).
Mueller, D.S. and Wagner, C.R. (2009). Measuring discharge with acoustic Doppler current profilers from a moving boat: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 3A-22, 72 p.(Reston, Virginia: USGS).
Chau, K.W. (2002). Field Measurements of SOD and sediment nutrient fluxes in a land locked embayment in Hong Kong. Advances in Environmental Research, 6, 135-142.
Boynton, W.R., Kemp, W.M., Osborne, C.G., Kaumeyer, K.R. and Jenkins, M.C. (1981). Influence of water circulation rate on in situ measurements of benthic community respiration. Marine Biology, 65, 185-190.
USGS. (1982). Measurement and Computation of Stream-flow: Volume 1. Measurement of Stage and Discharge. (Washington, DC: USGS).
USEPA. (1981). Procedures for Handling and Chemical Analysis of Sediment and Water Samples, Technical Report: EPA/CE-81-1. (Mississippi: Environmental Laboratory, USAE/USEPA).
USEPA. (2001). Methods for Collection, Storage and Manipulation of Sediments for Chemical and Toxicological Analyses, Technical Manual: EPA 823-B-01-002. (Washington, DC: Office of Water, USEPA).
ASTM. (2014-2017). Standard Test Methods for Particle-Size Distribution (Gradation) of Soils Using Sieve Analysis. (West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM International).
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA). (2012). Sediment Sampling Guide and Methodologies, 3rd Edition.  Division of Surface Water. (Columbus: Ohio-EPA).
APHA. (2005). Standard methods for the examination of water and waste water, 21st edition. (Washington, DC: American Public Health Association).
UN/ECE. (2003). Task Force on Laboratory Quality Management and Accreditation, Technical Report: Guidance to Operation of Water Quality Laboratories, 89 p. (Geneva: UNECE).
Shrestha, S. and Kazama. F. (2007). Assessment of surface water quality using multivariate statistical techniques: A case study of the Fuji river basin, Japan. Environ. Model. Software, 22 (4), 464-475.
Krenkel, P.A. and Novotny, V. (1980). Water quality management, 1st edition. (New York: Academic Press).
Andrade Costa, D., Azevedo, J.P., Santos, M., and Santos Facchetti, R. (2020). Water quality assessment based on multivariate statistics and water quality index of a strategic river in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Scientific reports, 10(1), 22038.
Brownstein, N.C., Louis, T.A., O'Hagan, A. and Pendergast, J. (2019). The Role of Expert Judgment in Statistical Inference and Evidence-based Decision-making. The American Statistician, 73(0 1), 56-68.
Collins, A.L., Zhang, Y., McMillan, S., Dixon, E.R., Stringfellow, A., Bateman, S. and Sear, D.A. (2017). Sediment-associated organic matter sources and sediment oxygen demand in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC): A case study of the River Axe, UK. River Res Applic., 33 (10), 1539–1552.
Rong, N., Shan, B., and Wang, C. (2016). Determination of Sediment Oxygen Demand in the Ziya River Watershed, China: Based on Laboratory Core Incubation and Microelectrode Measurements. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 13(2), 232.
Zhang, P., Pang, Y., Pan, H., Shi, C., Huang, Y. and Wang, J. (2015). Factors contributing to hypoxia in the Minjiang river estuary, Southeast China.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12(8), 9357-9374.
Masson, S., Desrosiers, M., Pinel-alloul, B. and Martel, L. (2010). Relating macroinvertebrate community structure to environmental characteristics and sediment contamination at the scale of the St. Lawrence River. Hydrobiologia, 647: 35-50.
Desrosiers, M., Pinel-alloul, B. and Spilmont, C. (2020). Selection of macroinvertebrate indices and metrics for assessing sediment quality in the St. Lawrence River (QC, Canada). Water, 12,3335.
Iran-DOE & MGCE Co. (2010). Karkheh River’s Study for the Prevention, Control and Reduction of its Pollution. Technical Report, Soil and Water Office, Department of Environment, Tehran, Iran.
Adib Arash, Fouladfar Hessam and Heydarali Kashkouli. (2015). Assessment of Karkheh Dam Construction Impacts on the River Morphology at the Downstream Area. Research-based Project Report (prepared for KWPA), Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran.
Beirise, Adrian (2016). Evaluating a Measure-Calculate Method for Determining Sediment Oxygen Demand in Lakes. Theses & Dissertations 1678 (University of Arkansas, Fayetteville)
Coenen, E.N., Christensen, V.G., Kreiling, R.M. and Richardson, W.B. (2019). Sediment Oxygen Demand: A review of in-situ methods. Journal of Environmental Quality, 48(2), 403-411
ingshui Huang, Hailong Yin, Steven C. Chapra and Qi Zhou (2017). Modelling Dissolved Oxygen Depression in an Urban River in China. Water (Switzerland). (9) 520
Akomeah, E. and Lindenschmidt K.E. (2017).Seasonal Variation in Sediment Oxygen Demand in a Northern Chained River-Lake System. Water (Switzerland). (9) 254