Physiochemistry and Microbiological Quality of Surface Water Body around Port Terminals in Southern Nigeria

D. N. Ogbonna *

Department of Microbiology, Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo PMB 5080, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

E. M. Anthony

Institute of Geosciences and Environment Management, Rivers State University, Nkpolu Oroworukwo PMB 5080, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

L. B. Kpormon

Department of Microbiology, Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo PMB 5080, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Anthropogenic activities around the sea ports are capable of causing changes on the physicochemical and microbiological quality of water bodies along the port terminals. Such activities can cause an ecological imbalance in the water quality /ecosystem resulting in extinction of aquatic resources. The aim of this study therefore was to investigate the physicochemical and microbiological quality of surface water along the busy port terminals. Surface water samples were collected from Onne port terminal using sterile containers. The samples were collected during the wet and dry seasons between January to June 2021. The sterile bottles were filled with surface water samples and transported in an ice packed container to the Department of Microbiology Laboratory of the Rivers State University for analyses using standard analytical methods. Statistical analyses were carried out using ANOVA and All pairs tukey-kramer. Results of the physicochemical parameters showed that temperature, total dissolved solids, total suspended solids, nitrate and heavy metals were significantly higher during the dry season than the wet season at P ≥ 0.05 levels of significance. Seasonal variation with respect to microbial counts shows that Total Heterotrophic Bacteria, Total Heterotrophic Fungi, Total coliforms and Faecal coliforms had  a mean value of 3.9±1.77 x 106; 0.8 ±0.05 x 104 ; 7.4 ±1.3 x 104 and 3.6 ±0.17 x 104 colony forming unit per millilitre  respectively for wet season while the dry season had 1.6±0.77 x 106 , 0.5 ±0.01 x 104 , 4.6 ±0.17 x 104   and 2.7 ±1.03 x 10cfu/ml respectively. In this study, the predominant bacterial isolates belonged to the genera of Vibrio, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, Bacillus, Shigella, Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Proteus, Bacillus and Escherichia. coli. The results of physicochemical and microbiological characteristics including the heavy metals, were detected at concentrations on or below detection limits.. It is therefore suggested that relevant environmental regulatory bodies should maintain regular check to ensure that appropriate standards are maintained around seaports due to beehive of activities.

Keywords: Port terminals, microorganisms, physico-chemistry, anthropogenic activities, surface water body

How to Cite

Ogbonna, D. N., Anthony, E. M., & Kpormon, L. B. (2023). Physiochemistry and Microbiological Quality of Surface Water Body around Port Terminals in Southern Nigeria. Microbiology Research Journal International, 33(2), 54–60.


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