With the increasing focus on environmental issues, the objective of this study is to evaluate the potential impact of contaminated sediments of the Blesbok Spruit near Witbank - which receives acid mine drainage (AMD) inter alia - on biota. Direct transfer of chemicals from sediments to organisms is considered to be a major route of exposure for many species, and therefore focusing attention on sediment contamination and highlighting the fact that sediments are an important resource. Acute toxicity tests were performed on Daphnia pulex using both extracted sediment interstitial water and surface water. Chemical analyses were also performed on the sediment, interstitial water and surface water samples. The toxicity results suggest that metal toxicity adds significantly to the toxicity of the stream water which is enhanced by the effect of pH. The pH of the stream and interstitial water was consistently below 4.5.

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