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Aims: To assess the quality of abattoir effluents discharged into water bodies in Owerri Municipal, Nigeria using microbiological and physicochemical approaches.
Study Design: The study employed microbiological and physicochemical parameters to determine effluent and water quality.
Place and Duration of Study: Abattoirs in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, between September 2014 and February 2016.
Methodology: Physicochemical and microbiological analyses were carried out on three abattoir effluents and their receiving water bodies. Counts of total heterotrophic bacteria, total coliform and faecal coliform, Vibrio, Salmonella and Shigella were carried using the plate count method.
Results: The bacterial isolates in the various samples included members of the genera Bacillus, Citrobacter, Enterobacter, Escherichia, Klebsiella, Lactobacillus, Listeria, Micrococcus, Proteus, Salmonella, Serratia, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Vibrio. The order of increasing effluent’s total coliform and faecal counts within the different abattoirs are given as Egbu abattoir > Amakohia Ikeduru abattoir > Ahiara abattoir. For the receiving streams, the order was as follows, for the total coliform count: Egbu abattoir > Ahiara abattoir > Amakohia Ikeduru abattoir while for faecal coliform: Egbu abattoir > Amakohia Ikeduru abattoir > Ahiara abattoir. About 85.7% and 42.9% of the total bacterial isolates were found in the Egbu abattoir effluent and receiving the stream, respectively. Ahiara abattoir’s effluent had 66.7% of the bacteria while its receiving stream had 23.8%. Over 57% of the total bacterial isolates were distributed in the Amakohia Ikeduru abattoir with 33.3% for its receiving stream.
Conclusion: This study revealed that pathogenic bacteria from abattoir were constantly discharged into receiving streams, thereby presenting serious health risks. The health status of residents of Owerri who have access to these water bodies should be studied to determine the health implications of such unregulated practices.
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