Sanitary quality of the rivers in the Communities of Manguinhos´ Territory, Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Abstract Sanitation actions are rare in the communities of Manguinhos, so evaluation of the sanitary conditions of the river waters and the peridomestic soils of the communities allows the diagnosis of the risk of contamination. This study evaluated coliform levels (total coliforms and Escherichia coli) by the filter membrane method, and parasitological (by adapted Lutz and Baermann-Moraes methods) in the waters and soils of the Faria-Timbó, Jacaré and Canal do Cunha Rivers that pass through the communities of the Territory of Manguinhos, RJ, according to the standards established in Brazilian legislation. In all points of the rivers, the water was unfit, with an average level of Escherichia coli 3,800 times higher than that standardized in CONAMA Resolution No. 274/2000. Larvae, helminths eggs and protozoan oocysts were observed. Soil samples were also unfit, with mean total coliform level 77,000 times higher than that considered acceptable by SMAC Resolution 468/2010. The Escherichia coli average level was 53,000 times higher than that permitted by the legislation. However, helminths eggs were found in only one soil sample. It was concluded that the lack of sanitation in this locality results in the high coliform and parasitological levels of the river waters and in the peridomestic soils, and that immediate modifications are needed to the Brazilian environmental paradigm, which uses its water bodies as sewage disposal ditches.