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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8153246, 16 pages
Research Article

Seasonal Changes and Spatial Variation in Water Quality of a Large Young Tropical Reservoir and Its Downstream River

1Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
2Universiti Teknologi MARA, Kota Samarahan Campus, Jalan Meranek, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
3Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia

Correspondence should be addressed to Teck-Yee Ling

Received 18 January 2017; Revised 18 May 2017; Accepted 19 June 2017; Published 26 July 2017

Academic Editor: Wenshan Guo

Copyright © 2017 Teck-Yee Ling et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study examined the water quality of the large young tropical Bakun hydroelectric reservoir in Sarawak, Malaysia, and the influence of the outflow on the downstream river during wet and dry seasons. Water quality was determined at five stations in the reservoir at three different depths and one downstream station. The results show that seasons impacted the water quality of the Bakun Reservoir, particularly in the deeper water column. Significantly lower turbidity, SRP, and TP were found during the wet season. At 3–6 m, the oxygen content fell below 5 mg/L and hypoxia was also recorded. Low -N, -N, and SRP and high BOD5, OKN, and TP were observed in the reservoir indicating organic pollution. Active logging activities and the dam construction upstream resulted in water quality deterioration. The outflow decreased the temperature, DO, and pH and increased the turbidity and TSS downstream. Elevated organic matter and nutrients downstream are attributable to domestic discharge along the river. This study shows that the downstream river was affected by the discharge through the turbines, the spillway operations, and domestic waste. Therefore, all these factors should be taken into consideration in the downstream river management for the health of the aquatic organisms.