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The stormwater drain system as a pollution vector of the seashore in Fortaleza (Ceará State, Brazil)

Sistema de galerias pluviais como vetor poluente da zona costeira de Fortaleza, Ceará, Brasil

Regine H.S.F. Vieira Karla M. Catter Silvana Saker-Sampaio Dália P. Rodrigues Grace N.D. Theophilo Antonio A. Fonteles-Filho About the authors

The aim of this study was to make a diagnosis of coastal pollution through bacteriological analysis of water taken from stormwater drain systems and the nearby seashore. The results were submitted to statistical analysis as to differences in the Most Probable Number (MPN) of fecal coliform (FC) found between the stormwater drain systems and adjacent seashore locations both at low and high tides. The main conclusions were: (a) most water samples collected from the stormwater systems presented MPN values for FC above 1,000 per 100 ml; (b) only 20% of the samples from the adjacent seashore presented MPN values for FC above 1,000 per 100 ml, a fact which may be explained by the distance between the drain system outlets and the actual seashore; (c) FC/100 ml values were invariably higher in the stormwater drain systems than in seawater; (d) out of the 180 strains isolated, 118 were Escherichia coli; (e) the highest in-sewer pollution rate was found at the sampling location in front of Imperial Othon Palace Hotel (IO-SEW), characterized by the presence of an everlasting puddle, while the most polluted seawater sample was taken in front of Statue of Iracema (SI-SEA); (g) the high tide regime enhances the chance of pollution of the coastal zone by fecal coliforms; (h) the high pollution indices by fecal coliforms can only be accounted for by the existence of illegal sewage pipelines connected to the stormwater drain systems.

stormwater drain system; fecal coliforms; marine pollution

Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia USP - ICB III - Dep. de Microbiologia, Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes, 2415, Cidade Universitária, 05508-900 São Paulo, SP - Brasil, Ramal USP 7979, Tel. / Fax: (55 11) 3813-9647 ou 3037-7095 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil