The saprobic system is used to evaluate the degree of such water pollution by means of taxonomic and quantitative analysis of all components of the respective biocoenosis from prokaryotes, lower algae, and protozoans to higher plants and vertebrates (mostly fishes). However, the sapro-bic system works mostly with the representatives of zoo-and phytobenthos, that is, the organisms living on (or in) the bottom of the aquatic habitat.
Categories of Saprobity
There are four fundamental categories of saprobity:
• catharobity - nonpolluted water: subterranean waters, sources of potable water;
• limnosaprobity - surface waters showing different degrees of pollution;
• eusaprobity - waste waters (sewage);
• transsaprobity - waters polluted in some other way (e.g., toxic industrial wastewater) in which organic substances cannot be decomposed at all.
Although the saprobic system can also be used to assess wastewaters, it is mostly applied to evaluate surface waters, that is, within the scope of the limnosaprobity category.
Limnosaprobity is devided into five classes, defined according to the intensity or degree of pollution, from unpolluted waters of the best quality to those heavily polluted, as follows: xenosaprobity (x), oligosaprobity (o), /3-mesosaprobity ($), a-mesosaprobity (a), and poly-saprobity (p).
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