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Journal of Medical Sciences

Year: 2001  |  Volume: 1  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 381 - 384

Toxicological Indicators of the Sewage Waste of Islamabad City

Audil Rashid, Mian N. Adnan, Irfan Z. Qureshi and Muahammad Arshad

Abstract

Classical bacterial indicators and organic matter contents were analyzed for sediment samples and the suspended particles collected from the sewage waste of Islamabad city. The suspended particles were most affected by proximity of point source and sewage overflows, which were associated with significant increases in the concentration of faecal coliforms, faecal streptococci and Clostridium perfringens spores. In contrast, only faecal coliform counts significantly increased in sediments with increasing distance from the point source. Sewage overflow again resulted in increased concentrations of faecal coliforms, faecal streptococci and Clostridium perfringens spores in suspended particulate matter. Faecal coliforms were identified as the most useful indicator of faecal pollution as only this indicator correlated significantly to the organic matter contents (r = 0.88, rs = 0.93) for sediment samples. The amount of organic matter in suspended particulate matter was not significantly different but a gradual increase in the organic matter with an average value of 2 to 3% was detected in the sediment samples with increasing distance from the point source. Our findings indicate a high level of faecal pollution in Nullah Leh, particularly coliforms, in amounts several magnitudes higher than the standards permit. It is concluded that minimization of hazards lies only in the treatment of sewage waste prior to its discharge in open environment.

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