Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Calidad del agua en los arroyos de la región de Monteverde, Costa Rica



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Publication Date

August 2006


The purpose of this study is to determine if concentrations of heavy metals, sulfide, chloride and fecal coliforms vary based on relative location to commercial and domestic waste sources along the Quebrada Máquina in Monteverde. Assessments were performed at stream and road run-off sites near Hotel Belmar, CPI Language School, the Monteverde gas station, and below a main road. In addition, three pristine forest stream sites were assessed as controls for a basis of comparison. Chromium-hexavalent, chloride, copper, iron and sulfide levels were tested at each of the seven sites. No significant difference was observed for any heavy metals tested, or for chloride or sulfide. However, higher levels of copper and iron were observed at the gas station and road run-off sites. These sites were exposed to the highest levels of commercial waste, which may account for the trends observed. One water sample was analyzed for the presence of arsenic, mercury and lead from the off-road site and upper-most forest site. Concentrations were identical at both sites for all three metals and were well below toxicity levels. Coliform levels were tested at the pristine forest site and near a lower site exposed to domestic activity. There was a significant difference in the levels of coliforms between the two sites (p < 0.0001). The low levels observed at the pristine forest site were most likely due to animal feces and plant run-off, while the extremely high levels observed at the lower CPI site were likely indicative of improper disposal of domestic sewage.


La región de Monteverde, Costa Rica esta creciendo rápidamente y la calidad de agua esta siendo indudablemente afectada. Se hicieron muestras en las Quebradas Rodríguez, Máquina y Cambronero a tres elevaciones para evaluar la calidad de agua de los ríos según los parámetros usados para calcular el índice de la calidad del agua. También se tomaron dos parámetros adicionales, la profundidad y la velocidad.


Water quality, Heavy metals, Metal wastes, Urban runoff, Tropical Ecology 2006, Reports

Palabras claves

Calidad del agua, Metales pesados, Residuos de metales, Escorrentía Urbana, Ecología Tropical 2006


14 pages

Geographic Location

Monteverde (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Water quality in the Quebrada Máquina: heavy metal, fecal coliform, chloride and sulfide Levels, August 2006



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