Water is a universal solvent, needed to sustain life. This study revealed the extent of microbial contamination in Ujiogba River, Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. Forty – two water samples from three sampling points along the course of the river were collected and analysed from January to April, 2012, to determine the river’s microbial load. Seven bacterial isolates identified include Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas sp., Salmonella sp., Shigella sp., Streptococcus faecalis, Klebsiella pneumoniae. The fungal isolates included Penicillium sp., Aspergillus sp., Fusarium sp. and Rhizopus sp. The bacteria counts ranged from 21 to 96 x102cfu/ml, with the highest frequency of occurrence in Escherichia coli (25.81%) and least in Salmonella sp. (4.84%). The microbial load of water collected downstream was significantly different from the other sampling points. The pH and temperature ranged between 6.8±0.28 to 7.7±1.64 and 28±1.63°C to 35± 2.16°C, respectively. The water was contaminated and did not meet the minimum standard requirement of drinking water as prescribed by the World Health Organisation and United States Environmental and Protection Agency. The microorganisms isolated are capable of causing a lot of waterborne diseases. There is need for continuous monitoring so as to improve water quality and safeguard consumers from the impending public health diseases outbreak.
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