Microorganisms present in water samples from various industrial effluents were analysed for their resistance to lead, chromium, and cadmium. The ability of these microorganisms to grow on or metabolize toxic hydrocarbons and pesticides was also checked. Microorganisms in samples from the steel and tanning industries were generally resistant to metal ions but were not capable of metabolizing toxic hydrocarbons. Conversely, microorganisms found in samples of pesticide and from the chemical industry were capable of metabolizing hydrocarbons and pesticides but were not much resistant to metal ions. Microorganisms from effluents of the paint industry and urban wastes were resistant to lead. A correlation between the population of microorganisms and the type of pollution was observed. Indigenous microorganism could be regarded as indicators of pollution and be used in various operations to resist, process, metabolize, and detoxify toxic industrial wastes.