The problem of environmental pollution is not simple and easy to ignore because it affects the survival and normal functioning of an ecosystem by changing the overall healthy interaction between its components and after once it occurs, will be difficult to control. Fortunately, in the town of Debre Berhan (Tebasie), it is a common phenomenon due to the discharge of untreated liquid and solid wastes from industrial and municipal activities. Thus, this study was conducted to determine the status of Beressa River and to reveal the effects of industrial and municipal discharges on the water quality of the river for irrigation and other domestic uses. After selecting six different sampling sites depending on the suspected and identified sources of pollution, the river water was analyzed for different parameters like temperature, pH, electrical conductivity (EC), oxygen demand [biological oxygen demands (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD)], total suspended solids (TSS), total dissolved solids (TDS), PO43-, SO42-, HCO3-, NH4+, NO3-, Cl- B, basic cations (Na, K, Ca and Mg), heavy metals (Cr, Pd, Cd, Ni, Hg and As) and micro nutrients (Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn). The water had no problem related to temperature, pH and EC. However, the COD, BOD, PO43-, TSS, TDS, Pb and Hg contents at different site were above their respected maximum permissible limit but the rest detections were below the concerned allowable value while requiring an extra attention for restoring the quality with the control or avoidance of further deteriorations.
Key words: heavy metals, oxygen demand, pollution, river water quality.