Physico Chemical and Bacteriological Qualities of Ground Water Resources in Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria

Author(s): Chukwuma O. B. Okoye and Gold C. Adiele

Physico-chemical studies and bacteriological assay of borehole waters in Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, Southeast Nigeria, were carried out to provide baseline data and to evaluate the portability of the rural water supplies. Water samples were collected from eleven boreholes located in different towns in the Local Government Area for analyses, using various standard methods. The values of chemical parameters in triplicate analyses of the various water samples showed ranges in mg/L as follows with exception of pH, 4.56 to 6.36; and conductivity, 10.89 to 57.40 μs/cm; thus, total solids,10 to 90; total dissolved solids, 6.4 to 34.5; nitrate, 0.6 to 2.9; phosphate, 0.01 to 0.02; sulphate, 0.05 to 0.13; total acidity, 0.76 to 40.32; total alkalinity, 0.5 to 24.5; total hardness, 12.0 to 38.0; chloride, 0.5 to 9.5; sodium, 5 to13; potassium, 1 to 4; calcium, 4 to 32; magnesium, 2 to 7. Lead, cadmium and chromium were not detectable in all the water samples. Detectable levels of other trace metals were: copper, 0.01 to 0.19 mg/L; nickel, 0.1 mg/L; iron, 0.01 to 0.25 mg/L and zinc, 0.01 to 0.15 mg/L. Total viable count for bacteria showed heavy growth of E. coli in eight boreholes. The range was from 0.12 x 102 to 2.56 x 102 cfu/100 mL. Compared with WHO guideline values for drinking water, pH range 4.56- 6.36 fell below the range of 6.5-8.5. The heavy metals did not exceed the stipulated guideline values, but the growth of bacteria impairs the quality of the water in eight boreholes. However, for assurance of safety, water needs to be boiled before drinking.

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