Abstract. Saleh LIF, Rashed RO, Muhammed SM. 2021. Evaluation of heavy metal content in water and removal of metals using native isolated bacterial strains. Biodiversitas 22: 3163-3174. Natural surface water sources are susceptible to chemical contamination, including heavy metals. The goals of this study were to isolate naturally occurring heavy metal-tolerant bacteria by evaluating their ability to remove heavy metals from Tanjaro River and assessing the river’s water quality. The potency of bacteria to remove heavy metals (Cd, Pb, Cu, Cr, Ni, Zn, Co, and Fe) from the medium was conducted by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry. Results of physicochemical parameters of the water samples were as follows: temperature 11.9–31°C, pH 6.1–8.64, total dissolved solids 268–464 mg.l-1, total hardness 232–485 mg.l-1, and alkalinity 122–324.3 mg.l-1. The overall mean concentrations of the heavy metals were in the order of Zn >Cu> Pb> Ni> Co> Fe> Cr> Cd), with values of 0.086, 0.073, 0.71, 0.068, 0.051, 0.056, 0.031, and 0.024ppm, respectively Moreover, the concentrations were generally exceeded the water quality criteria of WHO in some observations. The isolates included both gram-negative (56.5%) and gram-positive (43.5%) bacteria. The isolates displayed different degrees of resistance to heavy metals with maximum tolerable concentrations (MTCs) ranging from (10-250) ppm. Bacillus safensis and Leucobacter chromiiresistens were respectively able to tolerate (80, 90 ppm) Cd, (250, 160 ppm) Pb, (210,100 ppm) Cr, (110, 90 ppm) Ni and (160, 170 ppm) Co, while, Proteus mirabilis could tolerate 90 ppm Cd. The isolates were able to remove 55.4%Pb, 53.1%Cr, 53.7%Ni, 47.7Fe, 61.4%Co, and 55.8% Cu from a medium supplemented with the mixture of these heavy metals. The finding of this study indicated that Tanjaro River was undergoing frequent changes in water quality. Native bacterial isolates possessed considerable tolerance to selected heavy metals, which provides promising candidates for use in bioremediation.