Water quality assessment based on multivariate statistics and water quality index of a strategic river in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

Sci Rep. 2020 Dec 16;10(1):22038. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-78563-0.


Fifty-four water samples were collected between July and December 2019 at nine monitoring stations and fifteen parameters were analysed to provide an updated diagnosis of the Piabanha River water quality. Further, forty years of monitoring were analysed, including government data and previous research projects. A georeferenced database was also built containing water management data. The Water Quality Index from the National Sanitation Foundation (WQINSF) was calculated using two datasets and showed an improvement in overall water quality, despite still presenting systematic violations to Brazilian standards. Principal components analysis (PCA) showed the most contributing parameters to water quality and enabled its association with the main pollution sources identified in the geodatabase. PCA showed that sewage discharge is still the main pollution source. The cluster analysis (CA) made possible to recommend the monitoring network optimization, thereby enabling the expansion of the monitoring to other rivers. Finally, the diagnosis provided by this research establishes the first step towards the Framing of water resources according to their intended uses, as established by the Brazilian National Water Resources Policy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't