ASSESSMENT OF GROUNDWATER QUALITY AROUND ABANDONED QUARRY PONDS NEAR LOWER BENUE TROUGH,NIGERIA

AUTHOR: MBANEME, FRANKLYN CHUKWUDI N. (MSc)

DEPARTMENT: Environmental Technology

SCHOOL: School of Environmental Technology (SOET)

AFFILIATION: Federal University of Technology Owerri

A field study was conducted on the Assessment of Ground Water Quality around Abandoned Quarry Ponds near Lower Benue Trough, Nigeria. Water samples were collected using 1liter amber glass bottles each fitted with a screw cap and lined with foil from the four abandoned quarry pits measured fifty meters (50m) (165ft) deep. These were labeled ABP1, ABP2, ABP3, ABP4, while the wells were labeled HDW (hand dug wells) measured eighty meters (80m) (264ft) deep and BH (borehole), measured two hundred eighty meters (280m) (924ft). In-situ measurements were done with HORIBA U-10 Water Quality Checker to determine pH, temperature, total dissolved solids, turbidity, conductivity, and salinity. Descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation (r) and test of homogeneity (ANOVA) were used to analyse data. There were no wide variations in the levels of the physicochemical parameters of water samples from the abandoned quarry ponds and wells. pH levels ranges between 6.800 and 8.000 (7.200±0.225), temperature ranged between 29.000 and 29.400 (29.067±0.0667)oC, turbidity ranged between 5.00 and 20.00 (10.83±2.71) NTU, total dissolved solids (TDS) ranged between 500 and 1020 (720±103)mg/L, total suspended solids (TSS) ranged between 50 and 800 (525±106) mg/L, Salinity ranged between 5.00 and 15.00 (10.00±1.83)0/00, conductivity ranged between 50.0 and 500.0 (183.7±69.1) μS∕cm, CaCO3 ranged between 30.0 and 500.0 (355.0±92.2) mg/L, Nitrate ranged between 8.00 and 25.00 (13.83±2.52) mg/L, Sulfate 150.0 and 280.0 (215.0±18.4) mg/L while Sodium 205.0 and 300.0 (255.8±15.5) mg/L. There was significant variation in levels of the physicochemical parameters measured [F (19.27) > F crit(2.37)] at P< 0.05 and sodium, conductivity, Sulfate and Calcium Carbonate were the most responsible for the observed inequality. Nitrate correlated positively with turbidity(r=0.942),and sulfate correlated positively with total dissolved solids (r=0.942) while turbidity correlated positively with total dissolved solids, (r=0.930) and (r=0.964) at P<0.01. Results indicated that the near surface water table and rock over-breaking due to uncontrolled blasting enhance pond water and groundwater interaction, thereby increasing groundwater pollution. And this could be responsible for the increased levels of the physicochemical parameters in the hand dug wells which portends grave danger to consumers in the study areas.

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