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Studies on the Bacterial Load (Enterobacteriaceae) of Some Vegetables Watered with Variously Treated Sewage Water

The use of untreated domestic wastewater for agriculture is increasingly attracting the attention of policy makers and researchers. In this study, the bacterial load (Enterobacteriaceae) of vegetables watered with various treated domestic wastewaters was evaluated. The vegetables green (Amaranthus hybridus), tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) and pumpkin leaf (Telfeira occidentalis) were used for the study. Five treatment methods were applied to the domestic wastewater namely chlorination, coagulation method using Moringa oleifera seeds, dilution, filtration and sedimentation lagoon. The results from viable plate counts showed that all the treatment methods were significantly (P<0.05) effective in reducing the microbial load found in the wastewaters. Their effectiveness was in the order of chlorination > sedimentation lagoon > Moringa oleifera > filtration > dilution. The bacteria isolated from the wastewater were Serratia, Hafnia, Shigella, Enterococcus, Erwinia, Pseudomonas, Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Branhamella, Salmonella, Citrobacter, Escherichia and Proteus. The results offer hope for affordable treatment of domestic wastewater before being used to water vegetables grown for human consumption.

Moneke, A. N. and Mgboh, C. I. Department of Microbiology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.

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