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Revista Cubana de Higiene y Epidemiología

versión On-line ISSN 1561-3003


RODRIGUEZ CUITIVA, Diana Esperanza. Distribution of Enterococci as indicators of fecal contamination in waters of Tumaco Bay, Colombian Pacific Coast. Rev Cubana Hig Epidemiol [online]. 2012, vol.50, n.2, pp.136-148. ISSN 1561-3003.

Eight rivers empty into 27 estuaries in the area of Tumaco Bay. The most significant are Mira and Patía. The bay does not have an appropriate basic sanitation system, and untreated wastes are discharged directly into it. For this reason, a study was conducted of Tumaco Bay marine waters at six stations exhibiting different features in the months of March, June and September 2010. The total number of samples analyzed was 36. Determination was made of the spatio-temporal distribution of the fecal contamination microbiological indicator (Enterococci), and physical-chemical parameters (salinity and nutrients) were measured at each sampling site. The highest concentrations were found at Stations E23 and E26, where the influence of continental waters is greater, in the wet and transition (dry to wet) seasons. In the months of March and June, these stations lay outside the limits established by the World Health Organization (40 UFC/100 mL). A direct decreasing relationship was found between the abundance of Enterococci and salinity, but not with respect to nutrients (NH4+, NO2- y NO3-). Given the above findings, it is important to keep watch on the quality of the water in the bay, for it may pose a risk to the economic activities carried out by the Tumaco population.

Palabras clave : tides; contamination; Enterococci; water quality; salinity; nutrients.

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