Water quality effects of harbour activities assessed with integrated ecotoxicological parameters in Kerala, India
Ecological tools were developed to study the water quality in Cochin harbour, a complex aquatic ecosystems, through the integration of microbiological monitoring (faecal coliforms and Pseudomonas species) and heavy metal contamination (lead, cadmium and mercury). One way ANOVA indicates statistically significant differences (P = 0.002) in bacterial population between sites and at the same comparatively higher population in site I, reveals the possible impacts of the harbour activities. Total coliforms (TC), faecal coliorms (FC) and facecal streptococci (FS) reported their mean high values of 789.33 CFU/ml, 535 CFU/ml and 231.67 CFU/ml respectively at site 1 which is designated for the anchoring of the ships. FC/FS ratio also suggests the pollution is more with human faecal origin. Reported higher concentrations of lead (44.81 ppm), cadmium (1.5 ppm) and mercury (1.21 ppm) depicts the industrial origin. The relationship between petroleum hydrocarbons (PHC) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) signify the reliability of PA as a biological marker for PHC contamination.
Keywords: Harbour activities, pollution, faecal contamination index, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals.