Levels and distribution of progesterone in receiving waters and wastewaters of a growing urban area.
Kasambala, Hildegard R
Rwiza, Mwemezi J
Mdegela, Robinson H
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This study aimed at investigating the levels and distribution of progesterone in receiving waters and wastewaters in Arusha, a fast-growing urban area and the third largest city in Tanzania. Specifically, the study was conducted along the Themi River and the adjacent waste stabilization ponds (WSPs). Progesterone was detected and quantified by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. For Themi River samples, the level of progesterone obtained ranged from 'no detection' to 439 ng/L with a mean value of 120.3 ng/L. The levels detected were significantly higher in the midstream than the upstream and downstream sections of the river (P<0.05). The higher values at the midstream were attributable to livestock, WSPs and household effluents; agricultural activities; and sewage infiltration. Progesterone levels in the present study, although not extremely high, correspond to those associated with harmful effects in other studies. Results for samples collected from the WSPs indicated a release of 215 ng progesterone per L of the receiving waters. Although progesterone removal efficiency by the WSPs was 75%, the amount released was still high enough to cause harm to aquatic organisms. Thus, more efficient techniques are required to adequately remove progesterone to the recommended levels.