Physicochemical and bacteriological characterization of hospital effluents and their impact on the environment

Nadia Ramdani, Khedidja Benouis, Abdelkader Lousdad, Ahmed Hamou and Mokhtaria Yasmina Boufadi


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Liquid effluents discharged by hospitals may contain chemical and biological contaminants whose main source is the different substances used for the treatment of patients. This type of rejection can present a sanitary potentially dangerous risk for human health and can provoke a strong degradation of diverse environmental compartments mainly water and soils. The present study focuses on the quality of the liquid effluents of Hassani Abdelkader’s hospital of Sidi BelAbbes (West of Algeria). The results reveal a significant chemical pollution (COD: 879 mgO2/L, BOD5: 850 mgO2/L, NH4 + : 47.9 mg/l, NO2 - : 4.2 mg/l, NO3 - : 56.8 mg/l with respect to WHO standard of 90 mgO2/L, 30 mgO2/L, 0.5 mg/l, 1 mg/l and 1 mg/l respectively). However, these effluents are biodegradable since the ratio COD/BOD5 do not exceeded the value of 2 in almost all samples. The presence of pathogen germs is put into evidence such as pseudomonas, the clostridium, the
staphylococcus, the fecal coliforms and fecal streptococcus. These results show that the direct discharge of these effluents constitutes a major threat to human health and the environment.