Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 16, Issue 2, 2014; Page No.(461-466)

PHYSICAL, CHEMICAL AND MICROBIOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF A DUMP SITE NEAR THE UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT, PORT HARCOURT IN NIGER DELTA AREA OF NIGERIA

H.O. STANLEY, I.F. ONIANWAH AND P.O. OKERENTUGBA

Abstract

The study was carried on the dump site at the University of Port Harcourt main gate and the characterization was done on microbial and physicochemical properties of the dump. The result of the analysis revealed that the site has a pH range of 8.0 to 9.5 and a temperature range of 360C to 420C with a mean annual rainfall of 677.12mm. The conductivity of the refuse samples (5.5 to 190.5uscm1) was high due to the presence of ions. The concentration of Cadmium and Lead (1.74 to 2.91mg/kg and 3.91 to 5.82mg/kg respectively) were high compared to (0.36 to 0.89mg/kg) Mercury and this may be attributed to the volatile nature of Mercury. The high values of Biochemical Oxygen Demand and Chemical Oxygen Demand is responsible for the high level of aerobic activities at the site. Further chemical analysis revealed the presence of Hydrocarbon (2.87 to 4.26mg/kg). The total heterotrophic bacteria count ranged from 2.9 x 107 to 9.2 x 107 cfu/ mL and 3.0 x 108 to 8.6 x 109 cfu/g; while total fungal count is 2.7 x 103 to 5.6 x 106 cfu/mL and 1.4 x 105 to 2.6 x 105 cfu/g. Aerobic microorganisms such as Shigella, Salmonella, Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Micrococcus, Staphylococcus, Escherichia, Torulopsis, Candida, Saccharomyces, Rhizopus, Aspergillus, Fusarium and Mucor were isolated and characterized from the samples. The presence of heavy metals and pathogenic microorganisms poses danger to public health and as such, requires checks.

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