An assessment of the physicochemical, parameters, algal diversity and bacterial flora of Asata River Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria was carried out for six months. Water samples and periphyton were collected fortnightly from four locations namely: Okpara Coal Mine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Old Site, Ogbete market and Ogui and analysed using standard procedures. Algal diversity and species richness were determined using Shannnon – Wiener index. Spread plate method on Macconkey agar was used for bacterial count. Results showed monthly variations (P≤0.05) in air temperature, velocity, alkalinity, aluminum, dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, calcium, pH, total suspended solids, iron, lead and zinc, at the various locations. Significant (P≤0.05) positive (colour and depth, transparency, iron and Bacillariophyta) and negative (pH and algal divisions; lead and Bacillariophyta; mercury and Cyanophyta) correlations were also observed among some parameters investigated. Thirty-four algal taxa belonging to four divisions in the following decreasing order: Bacillariophyta (33 %), Chlorophyta (32 %), Euglenophyta (21 %), and Cyanophyta (14 %) were encountered. Some pollution tolerant algae such as Gomphonema, Nitzschia, Navicula, Surirella, Euglena and Oscillatoriawere dominant. Based on Shannon–Wiener index, the water at UNTH and Ogbete were classified as mesoptrophic whereas, Okpara coal mine and Ogui were classified as eutrophic. The diversity index showed no complete evenness in the river. The lowest and highest enteric bacterial counts (1.029 × 104 ± 1.174 and 5.05 × 104 ± 1.472) were observed in August and November respectively. Gram – positive and gram – negative bacteria such asEscherichia, SalmonellaMicrococcusProteus and Enterobacter were isolated. Escherichia was dominant indicating fecal pollution. pH was within the permissible limit; iron, lead and phosphate beyond the limit; and calcium, magnesium, biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen below WHO standard for drinking water, indicating that the river was eutrophic.


1.1       Statement of the Problem
1.2       Objectives of the study

2.1       Physicochemical or Abiotic factor
2.2       Biological or Biotic Factors
2.3       Economic importance of algae

3.1       Study Area
3.2       Collection of Samples
3.3       Meteorological Data
3.4       Physicochemical Methods
3.4.1 Physical methods Temperature Depth Transparency Colour Rate of flow
3.4.2 Chemical methods pH Dissolved oxygen content Biochemical Oxygen Demand Chemical Oxygen Demand Total Alkalinity Total Iron Ammonia Silica Phosphate Nitrate Hydrogen Sulphide Calcium Magnesium Lead Mercury
3.5 Biological Methods
3.5.1 Algal Studies Labeling Preservation of Samples Quantitative Evaluation of Algae Preparation and mounting of Slides Microscopy Counting Method Diversity Index
3.5.2 Microbial Analysis of Water Media Preparation Microbial Count Microbial Characterization Catalase Test Citrate utilization test Oxidase test Urease test Indole test
3.6 Data Analysis

4.1.1    Rainfall
4.1.2    Relative Humidity
4.1.3    Solar Radiation
4.1.4    Atmospheric Temperature
4.1.5    Wind Speed
4.2       Okpara Coal Mine
4.2.1    Physicochemical Parameters of Asata River at Okpara Coal Mine
4.2.2    Algal Biodiversity of Asata River at Okpara Coal Mine
4.2.3    Monthly Variations in Algal Densities (individual/ml) for Okpara Coal Mine
4.3       University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu (UNTH) Old Site
4.3.1    Physicochemical Parameters of Asata River at (UNTH) Old Site
4.3.2    Algal Biodiversity of Asata River at (UNTH) Old Site
4.3.3    Monthly Variations in Algal Densities at (UNTH) Old Site
4.4       Ogbete Market
4.4.1    Physicochemical Parameters of Asata River at Ogbete Market
4.4.2    Algal Biodiversity of Asata at Ogbete Market
4.4.3    Monthly Variations in Algal Density for Ogbete Market
4.5       Ogui
4.5.1 Physicochemical Parameters of Asata River at Ogui
4.5.2 Algal Biodiversity of Ogui
4.5.3 Monthly Variations in Algal Density for Ogui
4.6 Algal Check List for Asata River
4.8. Percentage Composition of Algae Encountered
4.9 Algal Species Diversity and Evenness Indices
4.10 Microbial Analysis
4.10.1 Bacteriology
4.10.2 Monthly Variations in Microbial Count
4.11 Correlation of Algae and Physicochemical Parameters
4.12 ANOVA Result for inter – location
4.12.1 Comparism of Water Quality Assessment at the locations sampled Mean Values of Some Physicochemical Parameters at Different Locations of Asata River Mean Values of Some Physicochemical Parameters at Different Sampling Months
4.13 Comparism of Water Quality of Asata River with WHO Standard


Rivers are important pathways for flow of energy, matter and organisms through the landscape. They have always provided a focus of attraction for environmental studies. They offer a number of benefits and services to man. A wide range of human activities at the catchment areas may lead to environmental deterioration of river quality (Kagalouet al., 2002). The increasing environmental pollution is alarming and is on a global scale by anthropogenic activities.

The productivity of the river is determined by the water quality parameters, the aquatic species composition and abundance are affected, hence there is the need to monitor the water quality (Agboolaet al., 2011). Rivers are useful in multiple ways such as source of water for man and for domestic animals, in fisheries, agriculture and generation of hydroelectric power. Also tropical rivers play a crucial role in the epidemiology of several tropical diseases (Kadiri, 2007).

The river system presents interesting feature for aquatic organisms, in relation to extended periods of dryness, land use practices and intense human activities, all of which influence water quality (Papastergradou and Babalonas, 1993). Knowledge of specific relationships between particular organisms and environmental factors enable a quick look and fairly reliable evaluation of the essential features of a given biotope (Fytainos et al., 2001).

Pollution of fresh water bodies such as rivers, streams, lakes and ponds is mostly experienced as a result of industrial discharge, municipal waste disposal and surface runoff. Indiscriminate and uncontrolled discharge of waste into river impact negatively on river ecosystem and human health (Chima et al., 2009).

Water quality is crucial in order that man can benefit from river through series of users (Oliveira et al., 2006). Water quality deals with physical, biological and chemical characteristics in relation to all other hydrological properties. Any characteristics of water that affect survival, reproduction; growth and production of aquaculture species; influence management decisions; cause environmental impact or reduce product quality and safety can be considered a variable quality. The use of physicochemical properties of water to assess water quality gives a good impression of the status, productivities, and suitability of such water body. The change in physical characteristics like depth, temperature, transparency and chemical element of water such as dissolved oxygen, chemical oxygen demand, nitrate, phosphate provides valuable information of the quality of the water, the source (s) of the variation and biodiversity (Mustapha, 2006, 2008; Sumita et al., 2010).

Nutrients play a major role in growth and development of plants in tropical water where there is enough light for photosynthetic activities throughout the year, resulting in light and temperature probably not being limiting. Aquatic autotrophs have nutritional and energetic requirement for their photosynthetic carbon function and growth. Nutrient limitation is important in the regulation of phytoplankton abundance (Hirose et al., 2003). Phytoplankton diversity with the seasonal fluctuation indicates the condition of ecological niches.

Algae are simple plants that vary considerably in size, shape and colour and are found in a range of habitats (Christi et al., 2011). Algae are frequently found in polluted and unpolluted waters and due to this behavior they are considered useful in determining the......

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