Natalija Atanasova Pancevska1, Ivica Pancevski2 , Dzoko Kungulovski1
1. Department of Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology, Institute of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, “S s. Cyril and Methodius” University, Skopje, North Macedonia
2. Public Enterprise for Managing and Protection of the Multipurpose Area Jasen , North Macedonia
This study was aimed to determine the variation in microbiological quality of water from three sampling points on surface water in the The Public Enterprise for Managing and Protection of the Multipurpose Area Jasen, North Macedonia. Reservе Jasen is a nature reserve who was turned into a protected nature reserve in 2010 and is situated only 15 km from Skopje. The park compromises around 24,000 hectares of caves, mountains, underground rivers and lakes. The lowest point is the still uncharted canyon lake Matka. The highest point is Mount Karadzica with a height of almost 2,500 metres. Reserve Jasen is a protected area, anthropogenically untransformed and thus it is attractive hunting destination.
The present study investigated water quality at sources and points of consumption of mount area. Most people (hunters and game keepers) of such areas use water directly from available sources, without any treatment and therefore are exposed to a possible variety of some microorganisms.
The location of the sampling points was chosen from the fact that these waters was used to drinking water, so the assessment was based to follow the microbiological indicators of water quality from rivers on three different altitudes. Water samples were collected over a period of 1 year— from December 2019 to December 2020 in 12 sampling campaigns, at three sampling sites distributed from 500- 1000 m altitude. For microbiological analyses, the samples were collected into 1000 ml sterile polypropylene bottles.
Microbiological analysis comprised the prevalence of total and fecal types of coliforms and Escherichia coli, mesophilic, psychrophilic bacteria, enterococci and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Temperature and pH were measured onsite. The results in all three sampling area showed that tested waters are with good microbiological quality.
The present study indicates that the presence of humans in the high zone of Reserve Jasen had minimal effect on the number of aquatic microflora. This says little, however, about the safety of drinking untreated water within this area, since the actions of a single careless individual could create a health hazard. This points out some of the difficulties in establishing meaningful water quality criteria for pristine waters. It should also be noted that the absence of humans does not imply that the water is safe to drink.