Effects of open dumping of municipal solid waste on local groundwater microbiology were assessed in Ranchi, India. Both the spatial and temporal variations of groundwater microbiology were studied. Groundwater was analyzed to determine heterotrophic plate count (HPC), total coliforms (TC) and faecal coliforms (FC). Highest HPC was 4.5 × 104 CFU/mL and the highest total coliform count was 3.7 × 104 CFU/mL. Faecal coliforms were detected in most of the groundwater samples. The highest faecal coliform count of 2.1 × 104 CFU/mL was from a hand pump located adjacent to the dumping site. Spatial variations revealed dispersion of bacterial contamination up to 5 km from the periphery of the municipal solid waste dump. The level of bacterial contamination decreased with an increase in distance from the municipal solid waste dump. The maximum bacterial count was detected in the monsoon whereas the lowest count was found in summer. Molecular characterization of morphologically similar faecal coliform colonies indicated the presence of Klebsiella pneumoniae (Klebsiella ssnkbit, KU647674) in one of the groundwater samples which showed maximum faecal coliform count. Results of this study indicated that groundwater in the area is highly contaminated with a bacterial load which can be a major health risk.

  • Regional water quality assessment, open land filling effect, pathogen in ground water, spatial and temporal variation in water microbiology.

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