Vol 70, No 4 (2019)
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Published online: 2019-12-24

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Analysis of faecal bacteria isolated from air and seawater samples following an emergency sewage discharge into the Gulf of Gdansk in 2018 — preliminary study

Małgorzata Michalska1, Katarzyna Zorena1, Maria Bartoszewicz1
Pubmed: 31891178
IMH 2019;70(4):239-243.


Background: Knowing the numbers of bacteria in coastal atmospheric air as well as in coastal waters significantly contributes to a better understanding of the processes affecting the health of people who stay temporarily or permanently in areas where the synergistic effect of the atmospheric conditions and the aquatic environment on a human body is particularly strong.

Materials and methods: Seawater and air samples were collected from 22 May to 22 July 2018 in the seaside towns of Hel, Puck, Gdynia, Sopot, Gdansk-Brzezno, all located along the Gulf of Gdansk. The number of psychrophilic, mesophilic as well as coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli was determined in both the water and the ambient air samples. In total, 232 seawater and coastal air samples were collected for the study purposes.

Results: The study showed a deterioration of coastal waters and atmospheric air in the Gulf of Gdansk which may have resulted from an increase of potentially pathogenic mesophilic bacteria following the emergency discharge of raw sewage from the Gdansk-Wschod wastewater plant.

Conclusions: An increase in the number of coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli in the seawater and in the air across the Gulf of Gdansk is related to the emergency sewage discharge.

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