Microbial contamination and chemical toxicity of the Rio Grande

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Microbial contamination and chemical toxicity of the Rio Grande

BioMed Central
Publication Date
Apr 22, 2004
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Geography


1471-2180-4-17.fm ral ss BioMed CentBMC Microbiology Open AcceResearch article Microbial contamination and chemical toxicity of the Rio Grande Jose Mendoza1, James Botsford2, Jose Hernandez1, Anna Montoya1, Roswitha Saenz1, Adrian Valles1, Alejandro Vazquez1 and Maria Alvarez*1 Address: 1Biology Department, El Paso Community College, P.O. Box 20500, El Paso, TX 79998, USA and 2Biology Department, New Mexico State University, MSC 3AF, Las Cruces, NM, 88003, USA Email: Jose Mendoza - [email protected]; James Botsford - [email protected]; Jose Hernandez - [email protected]; Anna Montoya - [email protected]; Roswitha Saenz - [email protected]; Adrian Valles - [email protected]; Alejandro Vazquez - [email protected]; Maria Alvarez* - [email protected] * Corresponding author Abstract Background: The Rio Grande River is the natural boundary between U.S. and Mexico from El Paso, TX to Brownsville, TX. and is one of the major water resources of the area. Agriculture, farming, maquiladora industry, domestic activities, as well as differences in disposal regulations and enforcement increase the contamination potential of water supplies along the border region. Therefore, continuous and accurate assessment of the quality of water supplies is of paramount importance. The objectives of this study were to monitor water quality of the Rio Grande and to determine if any correlations exist between fecal coliforms, E. coli, chemical toxicity as determined by Botsford's assay, H. pylori presence, and environmental parameters. Seven sites along a 112-Km segment of the Rio Grande from Sunland Park, NM to Fort Hancock, TX were sampled on a monthly basis between January 2000 and December 2002. Results: The results showed great variability in the number of fecal coliforms, and E. coli on a month-to-month basis. Fecal coliforms ranged between 0–106 CFU/100 ml while E. coli ranged between 6 to > 2419 MPN. H. pylori showed positive detection for all the sites at different times. Toxicity


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