Environmental variables and its association with faecal coliform at Madh Island beaches of megacity Mumbai, India
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The abundance of fecal-indicating bacteria in water bodies are said to be influenced by environmental conditions. The effect of environmental parameters on the changing microbial population plays an important role in coastal water quality assessment. It's crucial to comprehend these patterns in order to support management initiatives for pollution control. There are studies on faecal bacteria contamination of surface water and how environmental conditions affect it, however majority of them are based on large river basins and temperate regions of developed countries. In this paper, we study the different physicochemical and physical factors of the five recreational beaches in Mumbai, India and examine how these environmental factors affect the levels of faecal indicating bacteria, namely, coliforms in the region. A relatively high number of coliform was identified from the water and sediment samples of Marve Beach (>1600 MP N/100 ml or g), followed by Erangal Beach and Danapani Beach (∼150–350 MP N/100 ml or g), exceeding the normal standard limits of <100 MP N/100 ml set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India. Of the physiochemical parameters examined, BOD showed to have a strong positive correlation with the coliform bacteria. The nutrients and heavy metal concentrations did not show any major effect on the microbial population. The MIKE CMAP predicted tide, MIKE3 Flow Model FM simulated coastal current, ERA5 hourly wind, as well as SWAN model simulated nearshore wave together considerably exhibit alliance of microbial behavior in the beaches with ambient physical processes. This study reveals that Mumbai's coastal water contain significant concentrations of faecal bacteria, which, if not monitored regularly could have future consequences on the recreational activities of the region, thereby on public health. This assessment might help in simulation of water quality prediction, and for optimizing the coastal zone management and development across recreational beaches.
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