Biochemical markers for the assessment of pollution of selected small streams in the Czech Republic.

OBJECTIVES: The objective of the presented study was to investigate levels of the most important biochemical markers in fish which were caught upstream and downstream from sites near waste water treatment plants situated at 3 selected small streams of the Czech Republic. Organic pollutants and mercury were determined in muscle tissue of fish for complex assessment.

DESIGN: Levels of biochemical markers (cytochrome P450 (CYP450), ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD), glutathione S-transferase (GST), vitellogenin (VTG)) were measured in selected tissues (liver, plasma, brain, gill and kidney) samples of brown trout. The concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury were determined in muscle samples.

RESULTS: Significantly higher levels of biochemical markers (EROD, GST, VTG) were measured downstream from waste water treatment plant (WWTP) in Vlachovo Březí (the small Libotýňský brook). Values of biochemical markers at the other localities Černý brook and Moravice River were measured downstream from WWTP consistently or slightly lower with values of upstream. The values of POPs and mercury were in all monitored sites higher upstream compared with downstream from WWTP. The highest values of POPs and mercury were found on Černý brook in Bruntál (more industrial and agricultural activity).

CONCLUSION: The highest occurrence of selected POPs and mercury was generally upstream suggesting that small WWTP are able to partially remove these substances in those locations. But finding higher values of biochemical markers in downstream shows that there are many other substances endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that WWTP are unable to remove.

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