Preliminary monitoring of faecal indicator organisms of surface water: A case study of Mvudi River, South Africa
Faecal contamination of water bodies is a known cause of high morbidity in developing countries. This study was carried out to assess the level of faecal contamination in Mvudi River used as a source of domestic water for people who live around it. Certified multimeters were used to measure pH, conductivity and turbidity while membrane filtration technique was employed to test for E. coli and total Enterococci in 18 water samples collected during sampling from January to March, 2014. The pH and conductivity values obtained varied between 7.30-7.88 and 10.47-15.94 mS/m respectively. Turbidity values were in the range of 17.57 and 429 NTU. E. colicounts were in the range of 950-11,533 cfu/100 mL while total Enterococci varied between 1,650-4,767 cfu/100 mL. The pH and EC data determined complied with the guideline values of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry of South Africa (DWAF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for domestic water use, but turbidity, E. coli and total Enterococci levels exceeded these guideline values. Mvudi River is microbiologically unfit and should not be used for drinking, domestic and recreational purposes without proper treatment.
Keywords: Contamination, faecal indicator, organisms, surface, domestic water