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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(4), 4128-4140; doi:10.3390/ijerph120404128

Temporal Variations in Physico-Chemical and Microbiological Characteristics of Mvudi River, South Africa

1
Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Venda, Private Bag X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa
2
College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability Research Unit, Florida Science Campus, University of South Africa, Roodepoort 1709, Johannesburg, South Africa
3
Department of Microbiology, University of Venda, Private Bag X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Received: 14 March 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
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Abstract

Surface water has been a source of domestic water due to shortage of potable water in most rural areas. This study was carried out to evaluate the level of contamination of Mvudi River in South Africa by measuring turbidity, electrical conductivity (EC), pH, concentrations of nitrate, fluoride, chloride, and sulphate. E. coli and Enterococci were analysed using membrane filtration technique. Average pH, EC and Turbidity values were in the range of 7.2–7.7, 10.5–16.1 mS/m and 1.3–437.5 NTU, respectively. The mean concentrations of fluoride, chloride, nitrate and sulphate for both the wet and the dry seasons were 0.11 mg/L and 0.27 mg/L, 9.35 mg/L and 14.82 mg/L, 3.25 mg/L and 6.87 mg/L, 3.24 mg/L and 0.70 mg/L, respectively. E. coli and Enterococci counts for both the wet and the dry seasons were 4.81 × 103 (log = 3.68) and 5.22 × 103 (log = 3.72), 3.4 × 103 (log = 3.53) and 1.22 × 103 (log = 3.09), per 100 mL of water, respectively. The count of E. coli for both seasons did not vary significantly (p > 0.05) but Enterococci count varied significantly (p < 0.001). All the physico-chemical parameters obtained were within the recommended guidelines of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry of South Africa and the World Health Organization for domestic and recreational water use for both seasons except turbidity and nitrates. The microbiological parameters exceeded the established guidelines. Mvudi River is contaminated with faecal organisms and should not be used for domestic purposes without proper treatment so as to mitigate the threat it poses to public health. View Full-Text
Keywords: E. coli; Enterococci; public health; water quality; wet and dry seasons E. coli; Enterococci; public health; water quality; wet and dry seasons
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Edokpayi, J.N.; Odiyo, J.O.; Msagati, T.A.; Potgieter, N. Temporal Variations in Physico-Chemical and Microbiological Characteristics of Mvudi River, South Africa. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 4128-4140.

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