The microbiological and organic pollutants characteristics of umuosoko stream in ikwuano local government area, Enugu state, Nigeria were carried out. Twenty water samples were collected from four different parts of the river. The pour plate technique was employed for the isolation of micro-organisms. Colonial morphology, Gram staining and biochemical tests were used for identification and characterization. The statistical analyses used were analysis of variance and standard deviation. The mean total aerobic plate count ranged from 5.30 ± 0.01log10cfu/ml to 5.90 ± 3.0
Log10cfu/ml while the mean coliform count was 5.0 ± 0.50 mpn/100ml to 20.0 ± 4.0 mpn/100ml. The salmonella and shigella and vibrio choleraemean counts were 0 ± 0.00 log10cfu/ml respectively. The mean fungal count ranged from 2.45 ± 0.02 log10cfu/ml to 2.77 ± 0.20 log10cfu/ml. The microorganisms isolated were escherichia coli, enterobacter species,staphylococcus aureus, proteus species, streptococcus species, bacillusspecies, pseudomons aeruginosa, lactobacillus species, saccharomycesspecies; kluyveromyces ranges species and aspergillus species.
The values of the organic pollutants tested were as follows: ph, 6 to 9, temperature, 29oc to 31oc, colour, and 6tcu to 7tcu, conductivity, 200μs/cm to 330μs/cm, turbidity, 0.01ntu to 0.1ntu, total hardness, 0.2mg/l to 0.4mg/l, total dissolved solid, 360 mg/l to 620mg/l, total suspended solid, 40mg/l to 120mg/l, dissolved oxygen, 4.0mg/l to 5.5mg/l, biochemical oxygen demand, 2.8mg/l – 3.8mg/l, salinity, 0.1ppt to 0.3ppt, nitrate, 21 mg/l to 103mg/l, phosphate, 0.67mg/l to 1.52mg/l, sulphate, 200mg/l to 260mg/l, was unobjectionable. The microbiological and nitrate results showed that the river water is contaminated and must be treated before consumption.
1.1 Background of the Study
Water is essential for life. Man needs water for various other purposes apart from drinking and body functions.
The other purposes includes it’s use in transportation, waste disposal and hydro electric system. About 80% of the earth’s surface is covered by water. This may be grouped into natural and artificial water. Natural water includes atmospheric water (rainfall, hail and snow), surface water includes (stream, lakes, rivers, ocean) and ground water (spring well, under ground stream). Artificial water on the other hand includes ponds. Surface water can be contaminated by some impurities like dust, smoke or gases etc from the atmosphere.
Anthropogenic activities ad dumping of waste on the river bank also results to the contamination of surface water quality, water may of these micro-organisms when present in large quantities and for prolonged period of time can cause health problem (Onyeagba and Isu, 2003, Shelton, 2003: WHO, 2004). There is a strong relationship existing between water, health and diseases causation (Ajewole, 2005). Water is a very essential element of human nature, yet a very dangerous element in the spread of diseases.
A recent study of water related and water borne diseases are in one way or the other caused by surface water (Medema et al 2003). Water that is free of disease producing micro-organism and chemical substance that is dangerous to health is referred to as potable water. The two categories of the sources of surface water pollution based on their origin are point and non-point sources. The contaminants that enter a water way through discrete conveyance, such as pipe or ditch are called point source pollution. The non point pollution is the diffused contamination that does not originate from a single discrete source. The cumulative effect of small amount of contaminants gathered from a large area is as a result of non point source pollution (USGS, 1998: EPA 2005)
The contamination of water has been associated with sewage and sewage effluent. It has been generally accepted that surface water contains more harmful micro-organisms compared to other source, of water including ground water and rainfall water (Oyebode: 2005). Consequently, high degree of sewage dumps, practices with domestic waste water may be sources of bacteria and other organisms capable of producing diseases in man and animals including livestock. Other source includes livestock manure and waste water from municipals, schools, feedlots and swamps.
Consequently, the number of cases of water borne diseases has been seen to be the cause of many health hazards. The demand and pollution of level of water requires the basic monitoring on the quality (WHO, 2004: EPA 2002) Hence there is need to ascertain the physical, chemical and biological quality of this river to ascertain whether it is safe for human consumption.