Next Article in Journal
Sustainable, Decentralized Sanitation and Reuse with Hybrid Nature-Based Systems
Previous Article in Journal
Potential Use of Treated Wastewater as Groundwater Recharge Using GIS Techniques and Modeling Tools in Dhuleil-Halabat Well-Field/Jordan
Peer-Review Record

Distribution and Risk Assessment of Toxic Pollutants in Surface Water of the Lower Yellow River, China

Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Received: 6 May 2021 / Accepted: 1 June 2021 / Published: 3 June 2021

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Dear Authors,


Thanks for providing the revised version. I feel that the manuscript is sufficiently improved during the revisions and is ready for the next stage. Regards. 

Reviewer 2 Report

The authors have significantly improved the peer-reviewed article. They reacted positively to the change of the article's status to short communication. I believe that the article may be published in this form. 

This manuscript is a resubmission of an earlier submission. The following is a list of the peer review reports and author responses from that submission.

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Dear Authors,

I am writing this to submit my comments on your research article with the following details.

Manuscript title: Spatial distribution and potential risk assessment of toxic contaminants in surface water of lower Yellow River, China

Manuscript Number: water-1164370

Journal Submitted: Water

General Comments:

Li et al. have investigated the spatial distribution and risk assessment of toxic contaminants in the lower yellow river. The authors have studied heavy metals (Hg, As, Cu, Cr and Zn) and antibiotics (ENR, CIP and NOR) along with some of the water quality parameters. The article falls within the general scope of Water, however, it has serious issues that must be addressed. The authors also need to take good care of the English language of this manuscript as it is of the low level at often places. Please find the section-wise comments as below.


The title is okay.


The abstract is superficial and poorly written.


Does not provide good background and literature reviews about the topic.

Materials and Methods:

The sample size is too small to consider. Therefore, this paper can not be further reviewed. The authors need to perform other samples and validate their findings so that it is based on a reasonable amount of data to draw some conclusions.

Results and Discussion:

Poorly conducted.

Figures and Tables:

Figures and tables are insufficient.


Based on this study, the findings are fine.


The inadequate number of references.

Reviewer 2 Report

The authors present an analysis of nutrient, metal, and limited fluoroquinolone antibiotic data in water and fish samples collected at five site along the lower Yellow River.  While followup datasets such as this are important to continual tracking of environmental pollution and validation of prior results, this reviewer cannot recommend publication at this time for a number of reasons.  Concerns are identified below. 


Major concerns:

  • The title and body reference “spatial distribution,” suggesting some geospatial analysis was performed during the study. However, authors do not make reference to any geospatial analysis, or discussion of geographical distribution. Please remove reference to “spatial distribution” or include relevant discussion to improve clarity.
  • The authors analyzed for three fluoroquinolone antibiotic; however it is unclear why the authors selected these antibiotics for analysis or their importance to the “comprehensive pollution index. Further, the antibiotics were only analyzed in fish tissues and not water. Please clarify.
  • The document extensively references supplemental data, which was not available with the manuscript. Please include supplemental information.
  • Please include a brief description of the analytical methods used for analysis of fish samples.
  • Please define or clarify “hometown concentration”
  • Please utilize appropriate significant figures standards. For example, on p. 3, Line 113, the appropriate values should be 60±  The precision of all values is governed by the standard deviation (or error), and should be revised for clarity.
  • Authors’ discussion of pollution source are not supported by data or reference. Indeed, nothing in their presented data indicates the source without additional, extensive chemometric analysis.  Please revise and support.
  • It is unclear how Figures 2 and 3 contribute to the discussion of results. The reviewer suggests replacing at least Figure 3 with a more comprehensive analysis of the analyses at each sampling site.
  • The discussion regarding impacts of antibiotics in water does not follow from your data. Please revise to discuss the impact of the antibiotics selected for analysis and detected in this study.
  • The main conclusion of the study is that there is excess chemical nutrients in the water. It is unclear then the importance of the additional analyses performed.  Please revise.



Minor concerns:

  • The draft requires English language editing for clarity. Please revise.
  • All acronyms and abbreviations should be identified in the abstract, body, and again in all tables/graphics.

Reviewer 3 Report

The Authors discussed the significant problem of anthropogenic pollution of aquatic ecosystems in the paper. The main objectives of the study were to determine the level of pollution in the Yellow River at five research stations and an attempt to assess the potential ecological threat caused by these pollutants. The adopted research methodology is correct, in line with generally accepted standards. It is a pity that the research was conducted only in July 2019. I believe that the all-year study would give a more complete picture of the pollution of this river, the more so as the concentrations of indicators such as TN, TP, COD, BOD5 are subject to seasonal variability. And this is my main remark to the paper – maybe it should be considered to publish the paper as short communication.

However, the fact of accumulation of antibiotics and heavy metals in fish is disturbing. In this situation, I believe that there is a need for further monitoring of the river's waters and I hope that such measures will be taken on the basis of this article.

Back to TopTop