Modeling Biological Oxygen Demand Load Capacity in a Data-Scarce Basin with Important Anthropogenic Interventions

Zurita, Alejandra
Aguayo, Mauricio
Arriagada, Pedro
Figueroa, Ricardo
Diaz, Maria Elisa
Stehr, Alejandra
Datos de publicación:
Most water bodies are currently used as receptors for pollutants coming mainly from the industrial and domestic sectors. The Biobio river is subjected to multiple anthropogenic pressures such as industrial water supply, drinking water, hydroelectric power generation, agriculture, and the final receptor body of a large amount of industrial and urban waste, pressures that will intensify due to the decrease in water flow as a result of climate change. In this context, organic contamination has been found mainly from sewage discharges and oxidizable waste discharges generated by industrial processes. In this sense, the objective of this research is to determine the Biological Oxygen Demand Loading Capacity (LC) in a basin with a low density of water quality data subjected to strong anthropogenic pressures. To estimate the carrying capacity in a section of the Biobio River, the water quality model River and Stream Water Quality Model- Qual2K version 2.11b8, developed by Chapra, was used. This model solves the Streeter-Phelps equation, proposing an analytical expression to relate the dissolved oxygen (DO) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) variables. These variables were modeled for different critical scenarios of minimum flows in return periods of 5, 50, and 100 years, determining that the studied section of the Biobio river would have a high carrying capacity to not be affected by its organic matter pollution.