This preliminary study was undertaken to assess the sewage contamination of Kuwait's coastal areas that received untreated sewage after a major pumping station failure (24 August 2009). About 180,000–200,000 m3 day−1 of untreated sewage was released for many months. Fecal sterols (especially coprostanol), considered to be ideal markers for sewage pollution, were used for the assessment. A total of 28 sediment samples were analyzed for the sterols. Coprostanol, cholesterol and cholestanol levels and their ratios were determined by GC/MS selective ion monitoring. The results showed that coastal areas receiving untreated wastewater were heavily contaminated with sewage. Coprostanol levels ranged from 874–41,228 ng g−1 dry wt. Sterol ratios based assessment resulted in categorization of some of the sites as ‘grossly contaminated,’ while most of the sites were ‘highly contaminated.’ Comparison with previously collected samples clearly showed the trend of increasing contamination.

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