Water Quality Index and suitability for bathing of Bica Stream, Portalegre, RN, Brazil
Water quality is characterized by physical, chemical and microbiological parameters, which are constantly subject to the interference of nature, the ecosystem and human land-use activities. In Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil, the improvement of water quality requires attention, considering that the region loses a significant portion of its waters through high evaporation rates. In this context, the town of Portalegre has a complex landscape formed by perennial springs, upper swamps and waterfalls. Considering the uniqueness of the area, this research characterized the water quality of Bica Stream, which flows through the watershed area located on the north side of the city, and is very popular for leisure activities. This research analyzed the Water Quality Index (WQI) at three points of the Bica Stream, as well as the Pinga Waterfall’s suitability for bathing, as it is frequently used for this purpose. The results show that the water quality is better at the spring of Bica Stream, with a WQI classified as "regular". The other parts of the stream were classified as "bad". The waterfall water was classified as excellent for bathing.
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