Physico-chemical water quality
We look at six parameters to assess the physico-chemical quality of the water:
- dissolved oxygen
- acidity level
- total nitrogen
- total phosphorus
The dock water meets the Environmental Quality Norm (EQN) for temperature, dissolved oxygen and acidity level. Good to know: for the dissolved oxygen parameter, the EQN is a lower bound; the results must not be below this.
Later on in dry summers, we do not meet the EQN for chloride, because insufficient fresh water is supplied during long dry periods.
We have not met the EQN for the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus since we began our measurements. However, a large proportion of the nutrients are supplied via upstream waterways, and therefore arise from agriculture rather than port activities. The Flemish government is taking measures such as the Fertiliser Action Plan and the Programmatic Approach to Nitrogen (PAN) to tackle the problem of nutrients in surface water at the source.