Assessment of spatiotemporal variability of bacterial pollution in Darbandikhan Lake and its tributaries in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq


  • Pshtiwan Gharib Ghafur Department of Social Science, College of Basic Education, University of Sulaimani, Kirkuk Road, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Author
  • Rozhan Faraidun Abdulrahman Department of Geography, College of Humanities, University of Sulaimani, Kirkuk Road, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Author



Aerobic plate count, E. coli, fecal coliform, total coliform, Darbandikhan Lake


This study was designed to assess the spatiotemporal variability of bacterial pollution in Darbandikhan Lake and its river resources in Iraq's Kurdistan Region. Seasonally, 25 samples (a total of 100 samples year-round) were collected and examined for aerobic plate count (APC), total coliform (TC) and fecal coliform (FC) in all samples. Descriptive statistics for physiochemical and microbiological variables and the Pearson correlation coefficient (r) were performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 and OriginPro 2022b–Correlation Plot. GraphPad Prism v9 was used to determine statistical significance (p < 0.05), one-way ANOVA was used, followed by Tukey's multiple comparison tests. Results indicated positive correlations between microbiological and Al, Cu, EC, Fe, K, Mg, Na, NO3, PO4, SO4, T.Alk, TDS, TH, Turb and Zn in most of seasons at the < 0.01 and < 0.05 significance levels. Furthermore, microbiological characteristics had a strongly positive correlation in all seasons. Water resources are heavily contaminated with coliforms, especially in wet seasons. The inhabitant’s activities, untreated sewage and waste water, disposed waste, and livestock were the main contributors to this pollution, which in turn led to waterborne diseases, particularly diarrhea.  Considering the above issues, the government should treat the water resources properly and take the required actions to solve this issue.


Some, S., Mondal, R., Mitra, D., Jain, D., Verma, D., & Das, S. (2021). Microbial pollution of water with

special reference to coliform bacteria and their nexus with environment. Energy Nexus. 1 (100008), 1-9. DOI:

Abia, A. L. K., Ubomba-Jaswa, E., & Momba, M. N. B. (2015). Impact of seasonal variation on Escherichia

coli concentrations in the riverbed sediments in the Apies River, South Africa. Science of the Total

Environment. 537, 462-469.

Ashbolt, N. J. (2015). Microbial contamination of drinking water and human health from community water DOI:

systems. Current environmental health reports. 2, 95-106.

Khan, S., Ali, S., Muhammad, S., Khan, B., Ali, A., Hesham, E. L., & Begum, S. (2020). Bacterial

contamination in drinking water of urban Peshawar: a comparative study at the sources and user points of tube

wells. Desalination and Water Treatment. 181, 221-227.

Gwimbi, P., George, M., & Ramphalile, M. (2019). Bacterial contamination of drinking water sources in

rural villages of Mohale Basin, Lesotho: exposures through neighbourhood sanitation and hygiene

practices. Environmental health and preventive medicine. 24 (33), 1-7.

Bylund, J., Toljander, J., Lysén, M., Rasti, N., Engqvist, J., & Simonsson, M. (2017). Measuring sporadic

gastrointestinal illness associated with drinking water–an overview of methodologies. Journal of water and

health. 15(3), 321-340.

Jung, A. V., Le Cann, P., Roig, B., Thomas, O., Baurès, E., & Thomas, M. F. (2014). Microbial

contamination detection in water resources: interest of current optical methods, trends and needs in the context

of climate change. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 11(4), 4292-4310.

Wilopo, W., & Putra, D. P. (2021). Groundwater recharge estimation using groundwater level fluctuation

patterns in unconfined aquifer of Yogyakarta City, Indonesia. Kuwait Journal of Science. 48(2), 1-11.

US EPA. (2002). Wastewater Technology Fact Sheet, Bacterial Source Tracking. Office of Water, 832-F02-010 200.

Antony, R. M., & Renuga, F. B. (2012). Microbiological analysis of drinking water quality of Ananthanar

channel of Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, India. Revista Ambiente & Água - An Interdisciplinary Journal

of Applied Science. 7 (2), 42-48.

Reynolds, L. J., Martin, N. A., Sala-Comorera, L., Callanan, K., Doyle, P., O’Leary, C., Buggy, P., Nolan,

T. M., O’Hare, G. M. P., O’Sullivan J. J., & Meijer, W. G. (2021). Identifying sources of faecal contamination

in a small urban stream catchment: a multiparametric approach. Frontiers in Microbiology. 12, 1-12.

Manini, E., Baldrighi, E., Ricci, F., Grilli, F., Giovannelli, D., Intoccia, M., Casabianca, S., Capellacci, S.,

Marinchel, Nadia., Penna, P., Moro, F., Campanelli, Alessandra., Cordone, A., Correggia, M., Bastoni, D.,

Bolognini, L., Marini, M., & Penna, A. (2022). Assessment of spatio-temporal variability of faecal pollution

along coastal waters during and after rainfall events. Water. 14(3), 1-16.

Lyons, B. P., Devlin, M. J., Hamid, S. A., Al-Otiabi, A. F., Al-Enezi, M., Massoud, M. S., Al-Zaidan, A.S.,

Smith, A.J., Morris, S., Bersuder, P. and Barber, J.L., Papachlimitzou, A. & Al-Sarawi, H. A. (2015). Microbial

water quality and sedimentary faecal sterols as markers of sewage contamination in Kuwait. Marine pollution

bulletin. 100(2), 689-698.

Raña, J. A., & Domingo, J. E. (2017). Contamination of coliform bacteria in water and fishery resources DOI:

in manila bay aquaculture farms. The Philippine Journal of Fisheries. 24(2), 98-126.

Verhille, S. (2013). Understanding microbial indicators for drinking water assessment: interpretation of

test results and public health significance. National collaborating centre for environmental health. Public

Health Agency of Canada, 1-12.

World Health Organization (WHO). (2008). Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. Incorporating 1st and

nd Addenda, Volume 1, Recommendations, 3rd ed.; WHO: Geneva, Switzerland.

Rodríguez-Tapia, L., & Morales-Novelo, J. A. (2017). Bacterial pollution in river waters and

gastrointestinal diseases. International journal of environmental research and public health. 14(479), 1-11.

Saha, T., Sultana, A., Mia, M. Y., Sarker, S., & Mahmud, S. (2019). Assessment of Microbial,

Physicochemical Quality and Antibiotic Sensitivity Pattern of Bacteria of Drinking Water at Santosh, Tangail,

Bangladesh. Advances in Microbiology. 9(12), 1023-1038.

Singh, A. K., Das, S., Singh, S., Pradhan, N., Gajamer, V. R., Kumar, S., Lepcha, Y.D. & Tiwari, H. K.

(2019). Physicochemical parameters and alarming coliform count of the potable water of Eastern Himalayan

state Sikkim: An indication of severe fecal contamination and immediate health risk. Frontiers in public health.

, 1-17.

Tornevi, A., Bergstedt, O., & Forsberg, B. (2014). Precipitation effects on microbial pollution in a river:

lag structures and seasonal effect modification. PloS one. 9(5), 1-10.

Sitotaw, B., Daniel, B., Kibret, M., & Worie, W. (2022). Seasonal Dynamics in Bacteriological and

Physicochemical Water Quality of the Southern Gulf of Lake Tana. The Scientific World Journal. 2022, 1-18. DOI:

Al-Bayatti, K. K., Al-Arajy, K. H., & Al-Nuaemy, S. H. (2012). Bacteriological and physicochemical DOI:

studies on Tigris River near the water purification stations within Baghdad Province. Journal of Environmental

and Public Health. 2012, 1-8.

Hashim, A. G. (2018). Impact of Rustumiya Station for Sewage Water Treatment on Bacterial Pollution of

Diyala River. Al-Kufa University Journal for Biology. Third International Scientific Conference, 1-6.

Mohammed, S. S., Hama-karim, Y. H., & Gubari, M. I. (2020). The prevalence of diarrhoea and drinking

water quality in Darbandikhan city, Iraq. Tropical Journal of Natural Product Research. 4(8), 343-347.

Oleiwi, A. S., & Al-Dabbas, M. (2022). Assessment of contamination along the Tigris River from ThartharTigris canal to Azizziyah, middle of Iraq. Water. 14(8), 1-20. DOI:

Rahman, A. K., Khazini, L., & Mohammad, A. Origins of Water Pollution in Tanjaro River. 3rd National

Congress of Chemistry and Nanochemistry from Research to National Development, 1-6.

Azeez, D. R., Ahmad, F. M., & Karim, D. A. (2020). Monitoring of Water Level Fluctuations of

Darbandikhan Lake Using Remote Sensing Techniques. Plant Archives. 20(2), 901-906.

World Bank. (2006). Dokan and Derbendikhan Dam Inspections. Project number: 5062018, Final Report

for: World Bank Preparation, Review and Authorisation Revision.

Arcgis online base map World Imagery. (2022). Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, i-cubed, USDA FSA, USGS,

AEX, Getmapping, Aerogrid, IGN, IGP, swisstopo, and the GIS User Community.

Miles, A. A., Misra, S. S., & Irwin, J. O. (1938). The estimation of the bactericidal power of the DOI:

blood. Epidemiology & Infection. 38(6), 732-749.

Leong, S. S., Ismail, J., Denil, N. A., Sarbini, S. R., Wasli, W., & Debbie, A. (2018). Microbiological and

physicochemical water quality assessments of river water in an industrial region of the northwest Coast of

Borneo. Water. 10(11), 1-12.

Yasin, M., Ketema, T., & Bacha, K. (2015). Physico-chemical and bacteriological quality of drinking water

of different sources, Jimma zone, Southwest Ethiopia. BMC research notes. 8, 1-13.

Medema, G. J., Shaw, S., Waite, M., Snozzi, M., Morreau, A., & Grabow, W. (2003). Catchment

characterisation and source water quality. Assessing Microbial Safety of Drinking Water. Chapter 4, 111-158.

IWA Publishing, Cornwall, UK.

Karra, K., Kontgis, C., Statman-Weil, Z., Mazzariello, J. C., Mathis, M., & Brumby, S. P. (2021, July).

Global land use/land cover with Sentinel 2 and deep learning. In 2021 IEEE international geoscience and

remote sensing symposium IGARSS (pp. 4704-4707). IEEE.

North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve (NCNERR). (2003). Addressing Microbial Pollution

in Coastal Waters: A Reference for Local Governments. Produced for the North Carolina Coastal Nonpoint

Source Program, public document.

Farouk, A. E., AA Abdel-Hamid, E., & MT, M. (2020). Environmental studies on water quality, plankton

and bacterial community in Mariout lake, Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries. 24(4),


Vinueza, D., Ochoa-Herrera, V., Maurice, L., Tamayo, E., Mejía, L., Tejera, E., & Machado, A. (2021).

Determining the microbial and chemical contamination in Ecuador’s main rivers. Scientific reports. 11(1),

Khan, S., Shahnaz, M., Jehan, N., Rehman, S., Shah, M. T., & Din, I. (2013). Drinking water quality and

human health risk in Charsadda district, Pakistan. Journal of cleaner production. 60, 93-101.

Cabral, J. P. (2010). Water microbiology. Bacterial pathogens and water. International journal of DOI:

environmental research and public health. 7(10), 3657-3703.

Hasan, M. K., Shahriar, A., & Jim, K. U. (2019). Water pollution in Bangladesh and its impact on public DOI:

health. Heliyon. 5(8), 1-23.

Skipton, S. O., Bruce I. Dvorak, W. E., Woldt & Sherry L. W. (2014). Drinking Water: Bacteria. University

of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, G1826, 1-4.

Rock, C., & Rivera, B. (2014). Water quality, E. coli and your health. The University of Arizona-College

of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Cooperative Extension, 1-4.

Kurdistan Regional Government. (2010). Sulaimani Statistical Directorate. Summary of the preliminary

results of the general population census for urban and rural residents of Sulaimani province in December 2009

by district, unpublished data.

Iran Data Portal. (2016). The Statistical Center of Iran. Population and Households by Provinces and Cities,

Census 2016.

Chidamba, L., Cilliers, E., & Bezuidenhout, C. C. (2016). Spatial and temporal variations in pollution

indicator bacteria in the Lower Vaal River, South Africa. Water Environment Research. 88(11), 2142-2149.



How to Cite

Assessment of spatiotemporal variability of bacterial pollution in Darbandikhan Lake and its tributaries in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. (2023). Journal of Zankoy Sulaimani - Part A, 25(2), 20.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >>