1 Faculty of Environmental Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

2 Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400, Serdang, Selangor DE, Malaysia


Rapid development and population growth have resulted in an ever-increasing level of water pollution in Malaysia. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess water quality of Selangor River in Malaysia. The data collected under the river water quality monitoring program by the Department of environment from 2005 to 2015 were used for statistical analyses. The local water quality indices were computed and a trend detection technique and cluster analysis were applied, respectively, to detect changes and spatial disparity in water quality trends. The results showed that the river water is of good quality at all stations, with the exception of 1SR01 and 1SR09 located upstream, which recorded moderate water quality indices of 68 and 71, respectively. The results of trend analysis showed downward trends in dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand and ammonia nitrogen, for most water quality stations, as well as increasing trends in chemical oxygen, suspended solids, pH and temperature for most stations. In addition, the results of cluster and time series analyses showed that the trend variation in dissolved oxygen, pH, and temperature between the station clusters is relatively low as compared to chemical oxygen demand, biochemical oxygen demand, suspended solids, and ammonia nitrogen. With the peak concentration of 13 mg/L for dissolved oxygen observed in cluster 2 in 2014, and the highest decrease in suspended solids (8 mg/L) observed in cluster 1 for 2015. This finding demonstrates that these combined statistical analyses can be a useful approach for assessing water quality for adequate management of water resources.

Graphical Abstract


  • Trend analysis showed downward trends in DO, NH3-N, and BOD for most water quality stations, as well as increasing trends in COD, SS, pH and TEMP for most stations;
  • Cluster analysis indicated that the first cluster is located downstream, the second cluster upstream and the third cluster in the middle of the river;
  • The time trend variation in DO, pH, and TEMP between the station clusters is relatively low as compared to BOD, COD, SS, and NH3-N;
  • The combined statistical analyses can be a useful approach for assessing water quality for adequate management of water resources.


Main Subjects

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