Use of Bioassay Test as a Performance Indicator in Effluent Treatment Systems including Role in encouraging shift towards use of Green Chemicals
Sandeep Garg, Deepika Kansal
Industrial effluents as from textile, pharmaceutical, tanneries, electroplating industries etc. contain many organic and inorganic compounds and metals. Determining impact of these pollutants on natural water bodies is a time consuming and uneconomical task if one tries to measure levels of each pollutant in order to determine its impact. Some of the pollutants may be present in trace levels and using instruments as atomic absorption spectrophotometer or gas chromatographs further adds to cost. In addition the limited physical-chemical analysis is of little help in determining the impact of different pollutants in a comprehensive manner. The Central Pollution Control Board, India therefore developed techniques for bio-monitoring of water bodies and notified Biological Water Quality Criteria for comprehensive assessment of health of water bodies. In addition standard was notified for bioassay test so as to understand combine (synergistic or antagonistic) effects on health and aquatic life’s as hazardous chemicals and toxic metals may undergo bio-accumulation and magnification. This paper reviews the methodology and utility of Bioassay test- determining 90% survival of fish after 96 hours in 100% effluent, in water pollution control. It is concluded that use of bio-monitoring techniques not only provides a cost effective solution but will also encourage industries to use green chemicals that are biodegradable, non-toxic and does not damage aquatic life.