Physicochemical Assessment of Vulnerability of the River Ebenyi in Eha-Amufu and Environs, Southeast Nigeria

Physicochemical Assessment of Vulnerability of the River Ebenyi in Eha-Amufu and Environs, Southeast Nigeria

Aim: Physicochemical assessment of the surface water sourced from River Ebenyi and its tributaries in Eha-Amufu and environs, Isu-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State of Nigeria.

Place and Duration: Eha-Amufu and environs, Isu-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State of Nigeria May to July, 2017.

Study Design: Experimental design.

Methodology: Water samples were spatially collected along the river and stream channels in Eha-Amufu and the adjoining Ihenyi, Amaede, Mgbuji, Umuhu, Agamede and Odobudo villages. Parameters analysed include pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), biological oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), Total hardness (TH), Lead (Pb), Copper (Cu), Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Zinc (Zn), Nitrate, Phosphate, Chloride and Sulphate.

Results: The concentrations of Cd (0.02-0.05 mg/l) and Pb (0.37-0.77 mg/l) exceeded the maximum limit of the range of values considered as safe by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Conductivity (37.14 – 63.30 µs/cm), Total dissolved solids (TDS) (10.80 – 30.80 mg/l), Total suspended solids (TSS) (10.60 – 21.20 mg/l) and Total solid (TS) (20.60-41.00 mg/l) were within the lower limit of the permissible range of values. Chromium (0.26 ± 0.00 mg/l) exceeded the maximum permissible limit at Agamede village. Sulphate was statistical significantly higher (χ2 = 25.697, p < 0.001) relative to the spatial concentrations of nitrate (4.28 – 11.18 mg/l), sulphate (13.68 – 25.23 mg/l), phosphate (0.00 – 0.28 mg/l) and chloride (9.11 – 15.50 mg/l) in the area.

Conclusions: The baseline results obtained from this study with regards to Cd, Cr and Pb demands that effective health education programme should be organised to emphasize on the effect of anthropogenic activities that releases pollutants. However, long term sampling covering all the months of the year is needed in order to confirm the reproducibility of our results. Variations in the physicochemical parameters of the surface water sourced from River Ebenyi and its tributaries in Eha-Amufu and environs are indicative of the influence of the anthropogenic activities. The baseline results obtained from this study with regards to Cd, Cr and Pb demands that effective health education programme should be organised to emphasize on the effect of anthropogenic activities that releases pollutants. However, long term sampling covering all the months of the year is needed in order to confirm the reproducibility of our results.

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