Authors: Uzoekwe, S. A., Achudume, A. C.
The present study evaluates the pollution status and the physico-chemical characteristics of Ughoton stream water as it affects the quality of water and its impact on Ughoton stream ecosystem. Surface water samples were collected at various distances, 50,100, 250, and 500 m downstream from an oil well. The potentially toxic elements, Fe, Mn, Zn, Ca, Cr, Cd, Ni, and Pb were analyzed. Other parameters including cations, hydrocarbonoclastic, heterotrophic bacteria and Total hydrocarbon were analyzed. The study reveals most of the parameters; pH, DO, BOD, and COD are within limits set by World Health Organization (WHO) for surface water. The heavy metal concentrations in the stream water are also below the threshold levels associated with the toxicological effects and the regulatory limits. However, the high concentration of nutrients, hydrocarbonoclastic and heterotrophic bacteria confirmed high pollution status. The hydrocarbonoclastic and heterotrophic bacteria count ranged from 96 to 520 and 48 to 284 per 100 ml respectively. Pollution nature of Ughoton stream water is further confirmed by its oil films coated environment; the pollution load exceeded tolerance limit of stream that empties into major river. Therefore, The Ughoton stream water is considered as a threat to Ughoton natural ecosystem. Key words: Physico-chemical parameters, hydrocarbonoclastic and heterotrophic bacteria, freshwater stream.