Publisher: Chemical Society of Nigeria

Comparative Evaluation of Physicochemical and Microbiological Characteristics of Ballast Water Samples From Three Oceanic Vess

F. E. Okieimen, E. C. Duru, D. I. Olorunfemi
KEYWORDS: Ballast water, heavy metals, microbial load, toxicity, oceanic vessels


Oceanic transport accounts for more than 80% of total global shipments of commercial cargo. In addition to “intended” cargo, over 12 billion tonnes of ballast water are moved across vast coastal and oceanic domains annually, which are indiscriminately discharged into the environment, due to lack of enforced regulations, especially in Nigeria. In this study, physicochemical and microbiological evaluation of ballast water samples from three oceanic vessels: Tt, Li and Aa berthed in Warri Port were carried out to ascertain the toxicity or otherwise on the environment. Results obtained from the physicochemical parameters revealed that ballast water samples from Tt and Li were basic with high electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids and COD while the sample from Aa was acidic. Majority of the heavy metals, except lead, were within SON and WHO permissible limits, however, total heterotrophic bacteria and E. coli were present with Aa having the highest indicating that the water samples are polluted with oxidizable organic and inorganic pollutants. 

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