Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Environment and Society

First Advisor

Helga Van Miegrot

Abstract

Urban migration is causing a high increase in the population of Suva, Fiji, and the population is growing at a rate that exceeds development planning and infrastructure. Several squatter settlements are established within the city limits where raw sewage, containing infectious pathogens and diseases, is released into the waterways. This study focuses on the area accumulation of the pathogenic bacteria from fecal contamination in the form of E. coli down the Vatuwaga River. E. coli is used as a water quality indicator because, if it is present, other possible pathogens and viruses such as cholera and salmonella could be present. The European Union accepts anything under 200 colonies of E. coli per 100 ml of seawater as safe to eat raw shell fish. Water samples were strategically taken from six sites at areas of surface run off to find the highest source of E. coli. The levels of E. coli colonies found in the Vatuwaga River ranged between 2,500‐50,333 colonies per 100/ml. Though the results showed that the E. coli levels did not accumulate downstream, there was a significant change in E. coli levels after the mangrove forests due to their filtrating root system.

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Life Sciences Commons

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