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Bacterial contamination in water of the River Ganga and its risk to human health

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Water of the River Ganga is extensively used for drinking, bathing and cleaning purposes. Bacterial analysis of Ganga water was carried out at three different sites in Bhagalpur town which discharges untreated municipal and industrial effluents in river at various points. Total bacterial density (TBD), total coliform (TC), faecal coliform (FC), faecal streptococci (FS), Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens were substantially high and much beyond the permissible limit of ISI and WHO. There was a marked correlation between physico-chemical quality of water and bacterial density. The presence of Actinomyces sp., Aerobacter aerogenes, A. Cloacae, Micrococcus sp., Salmonella sp., Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus sp. and Shigella sp. indicated the level of faecal contamination in water. Hence, direct consumption of untreated Ganga water and bathing in this stretch poses a great health risk.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1998

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