Hospital wastewater physico-chemical and biological characteristics in the Coastal Zone Hospitals of Tanzania: A case of Muhimbili and Tumbi Hospitals


  • Shadrack M. Sabai
  • Jonas G. Balengayabo


Hospital wastewater, quality, characteristic, contaminants


Hospitals wastewater contains a wide range of contaminants which may pose potential risks to the environment, public health, and ecological damage. However, knowledge on the extent to which the hospital wastewater is contaminated in Tanzania is still limited. The study aimed to investigate the quality of hospital wastewaters discharged from Muhimbili national (MNH) and Tumbi regional referral (TRH) hospitals. Eight sampling points were established and sampled in triplicates at each of the two hospitals and analyzed for physical, chemical and biological parameters following the standard methods as presented in APHA- AWWA-WEF  (1998) and TZS 860:2005. The results showed that pH, electric conductivity, total dissolved solids, cadmium, chromium, zinc and Nickel are within Tanzania Standards. However, MNH, PO4 NO3 Pb and COD quality exceed the Tanzania standards. The COD ranged from 53 mg/l to 776 mg/l and 92 mg/l to 1099 mg/l for MNH and TRH, respectively.   The COD has value higher than permissible level of 60 mg/l. Bacteriological results indicated that hospital wastewater is contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms. Faecal coliform (FC) and total coliform (TC) for MNH ranged from 5-23 x 106 cfu/100ml and 14 -41 x 106  cfu/100ml, respectively, while FC and TC ranged from 0.5 - 4x106  cfu/100 ml and 0.5-9 x 106  cfu/100ml for wastewater from TRH. The results of FC and TC from both hospitals are far higher than the allowable standard as specified in Tanzania standard (TZS 860:2005) which limits to 0.01x106  cfu/100ml, which may render the human health and other ecosystems.  The hospital wastewater is polluted physically, chemically  and  biologically  which  need  treatment  before  disposal  in order to protect human health and another ecosystems’ life.

Author Biographies

Shadrack M. Sabai

Ardhi University

Jonas G. Balengayabo

Ardhi University