Recreational use of water is often given inadequate consideration and care. This is of particular concern as the recreational use of water is becoming popular in Nigeria. Many of these are increasingly contaminated by domestic sewage and industrial effluents. This study is therefore relevant in assessing the environmental impact of microbes on ecotourism in Awba dam. A total of nine water (n=9) and soil (n= 9) samples were collected at entry, middle and the end of the Awba dam for heavy metal analysis and microbial assay. Samples were assessed for heavy metals using an official procedure and atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Total aerobic plate count, Isolation and characterization of strains was done using standard methods. For enumeration of E. coliO157:H7, colonies were characterized using standard methods. The direct slide agglutination technique was utilized for serology. The presumptive E. coli isolates were subjected to agglutination tests with specific E. coli O157:H7 . For the antibiotic sensitivity test, the Bauer-Kirby disc diffusion method was used to test the sensitivity of the isolates. Statistical analysis of ANOVA was used and Duncan multiple range test was used to separate the means. All the values obtained for the total aerobic count and total coliform count for soil and water were higher than EPA recommended value for recreational waters. For the antibiotic Sensitivity Profile, isolates from Awba dam showed the highest sensitivity (16.17mm) to ciprofloxacin while lowest was with Augmentine (8.25mm).Furthermore the isolate from the control point showed highest sensitivity to CPR and NIT ( 14mm) and least for AUG (5mm) Generally, E.coliO157:H7 isolates were highly sensitive to Oflatoxin and Ciproflaxin(93.3%) while the isolate was completely resistant to Ampicilin and Cefuroxime. The presence of E.coliO157:H7 in the dam can make the dam unfit for recreational activities and also for the community household chores, if not well treated . The University management should device means of controlling waste water that enters into the dam by providing alternate channels of discharge .This will reduce the growth and spread of the microbes in the soil and water of the dam.
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