Intermittent discharges of effluents are a common cause of reduced water quality. There have, however, been few studies of the effects of such discharges on the flora and fauna of receiving waters. A simple indoor artificial stream system designed to study the effects of toxicant pulses on aquatic organisms ranging from macroinvertebrates to small fish has been constructed and is described. A computer-controlled toxicant input system has been developed that is capable of generating and delivering toxicant pulses of varying shape, magnitude, amplitude and duration. Comparisons of predicted and actual toxicant concentrations have been carried out and hydraulic and toxicant conditions were found to be reproducible. Sample results are given of the effect of short-term pulses of cadmium on the amphipod Gammarus pulex. Possible future developments of the system are discussed.
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Acknowledgements--The authors would like to thank Mr Glen Brawn in the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering who built the system and Mr Rob Harwood, also of the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, who produced Fig. 1. This work was funded by the EPSRC.
- Artificial stream
- Computer-controlled toxicant pulses
- Flow-through systems