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Afsterwe van mikroorganismes teenwoordig in rioolwater in die mariene omgewing
Engelbrecht, Johannes Frederik Pieter
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The die-off in the marine environment of micro-organisms that are present in sewage was investigated. A literature survey was carried out and studies were done in the laboratory, at an offshore outfall and at a surf-zone outfall. In the laboratory raw sewage was mixed with sea water at known dilutions and the die-off of faecal coliforms, faecal streptococci and coliphage was monitored. At the offshore sewage outfall a tracer, Rhodamine B.was released in the pump station and the distribution of the plume around the diffuser was determined by means of the Rhodamine B concentrations and faecal colifonns counts. At the factory surf-zone outlet the Rhodamine B was injected into the pipeline. Samples were taken at 50 and 100 meter distance from the outlet. Thedie-off of faecal colifonns, faecal streptococci and coliphage was monitored. The following results were obtained: Literature study: (i) Coliforms • Temperatures of 15 QC and lower are conducive to survival while nutrients, at a concentration as low as 2,5 mg/L organic carbon, stimulate growth. A rise in salinity has a negative effect on the organisms. • The T90 value in direct sunlight is <2 hours but vanes considerably in the dark (>35 days). Changes in weather• conditions, sunlight intensity, hours of sunlight, depth and turbidity of seawater and different seasons are the most important factors accounting for the variations in the T90 values. • It is, therefore, important for the initial dilution to be large enough. This will ensure that the bacterial counts conform to the water quality criteria, as the die-off rates in the marine environment are slow and not always adequate, except around mid day. • Faecal coliforms as a single parameter is not considered to be the best indicator of marine pollution. • The 1:4 ratio between faecal coliforms and faecal streptococci for human faeces and 1:0,7 ratio for animal waste are not applicable in the marine environment. The survival of faecal streptococci in seawater is better than that of faecal coliforms and the ratio therefore changes. (ii) Enterococci and pathogens • The T90 value for faecal streptococci is double that of coliforms and also varies in the dark. In direct sunlight any change in sunlight intensity, change the T90 values. • In general the numbers of faecal streptococci and pathogens occuring in sewage are smaller than those of coliforms, but their survival time is longer. This could lead to a situation where the water quality complies with the criteria according to the coliform counts, while a health risk may exist due to th survival of pathogens.