|dc.contributor.advisor||Low, Murray R.||
|dc.description||Thesis (M.Sc.) - University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2004.||en
|dc.description.abstract||The industrial port of Richards Bay on the eastern seaboard of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa has undergone
rapid growth over the last 25 years. This industrial growth has inevitably led to an increase in the anthropogenic
pollutant inputs in the area. However, the degree of this contamination has not previously been assessed not
been accompanied by an awareness of its environmental impacts. This project serves to assess the current
environmental situation of the area and provide background levels against which the environmental impacts of
further growth in the area can be assessed.
The main pollution point sources in the area were identified as a pulp and paper plant, a sulfuric acid/fertiliser
plant and aluminium smelters. The chemical and physical processes involved within these industries were
identified and discussed in detail. The common inorganic pollutants emitted by these industries were identifies
as trace metals, sulfur dioxide, NOx gases and fluoride. It was these pollutants that therefore became the focus of
Reservoirs within Richards Bay that may become sinks for contamination were identified and water, sediment
and soil samples were taken from these reservoirs. The samples were analysed for trace metal contamination,
pH, alkalinity and fluoride levels.
Analysis of the acidity and alkalinity of water, sediment and soils samples demonstrated that there is presently
no long-term acidification of the environment in Richards Bay. The only samples that showed increased acidity
were the soils taken from the roadside sites immediately outside the industries. This lack of overall acidification
indicates that, at present, there are no detrimental effects of acidic emissions on the hydrosphere and geosphere.
Only cursory investigations were conducted into the fluoride levels found in water samples. None of the samples
analysed demonstrated detectable amounts of fluoride present.
Comprehensive trace metal analyses were performed on the water, sediment and soil samples through the use of
ICP-AES. Levels obtained were compared with levels from samples taken from relatively uncontaminated
background sites. Trace metal analysis indicated contamination of the freshwater reservoirs when compared
with the background, while the soils and saltwater reservoirs remain largely uncontaminated. However, the
contaminated areas did not show levels greater than quality guideline concentrations.
Further studies should be conducted with regards to the trace metal contamination of the biosphere and the
bioavailability of the contaminants already present in the waters, sediments and soils. More detailed
investigations should also be conducted into the levels of atmospheric pollutants and fluoride levels in all
|dc.subject||Soil Pollution--Environmental Aspects--KwaZulu-Natal--Richards Bay.||en
|dc.subject||Water--Pollution--Environmental Aspects--KwaZulu-Natal--Richards Bay.||en
|dc.subject||Pollution--Environmental Aspects--KwaZulu-Natal--Richards Bay.||en
|dc.title||Chemical pollution arising from heavy inorganic industries in Richards Bay - an assessment.||en