Original paper

Suspended particulate matter and water quality of the Sava River Basin

Ogrinc, Nives; Şčančar, Janez

Abstract

The chemical composition of the constituents of suspended particulate matter (SPM) of Sava River Basin has been assessed. Sampling was performed during spring and autumn 2006 at 33 sites located along Sava River and its largest tributaries, from headwater to the mouth, near the confluence with the Danube. High concentrations of zinc (Zn) were noticed in Savinja, Una, Vrbas and Bosna tributaries and near Şabac, in the main stream of the Sava River. By comparing the riverine SPM concentrations of selected trace elements with the European and world average concentrations, the main stream of Sava River shows low contamination except for Zn and Cd further transported into the Danube. In contrast, the main tributaries (Una, Vrbas, Bosna and Drina) were heavily polluted mainly by Cu, Ni, Zn, Cd and Pb due to industrial, mining and smelting activities. The concentrations of trace elements on SPM were not directly related to river discharge, indicating the continuous transport of selected trace elements into the watersheds.

Keywords

particulate suspended matterpollutionsavariver basin management