Microbiological Beach Sand Quality in the Gaza Strip in Comparison to Seawater
S. A. Abdallah1, A. A. Elmanama2, M. I. Fahd1, S. Afifi2
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1 Botany Department, Faculty of Girls for Arts, Science and Education, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Islamic University, Gaza, Palestine
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2005;14(6):841–850
Gaza beach is the only recreational area available for the local inhabitants of Gaza, Palestine. It is heavily polluted with treated, partially treated and untreated sewage from point and non-point sources. The majority of the population is below the age of 15, an age group vulnerable to gastrointestinal diseases and that usually restricts its activities to beach sand at the swash zone. A total of 5 sampling points along the Gaza beach were selected and monitored for one year (fortnightly). Microbial sand content was evaluated for faecal coliforms (FC) and faecal streptococci (FS) as well as Salmonella, Shigella and Vibrio. Seawater samples were subjected to similar evaluation. Pseudomonas, yeast and mold count were performed for all sand samples as possible sand pollution indicators.
Higher faecal indicators (both FC and FS) were obtained in sand rather than in water almost in all locations. The frequency of Salmonella and Vibrio isolation was also higher in sand than in water despite the fact that only 10 grams of sand were used while one liter of seawater was collected. Statistically significant correlations were found between faecal coliform and streptococci on one side of the beach and Salmonella and Vibrio on the other side. Similar correlation was also detected between Pseudomonas levels and the isolation of Salmonella from sand samples.