A Comparative Study of the Quality of Wastewater from Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) Against EPA Standards and its Effect on the Environment

Peter Abum Sarkodie, Daniel Agyapong, George Obiri Larbi, Ernest Owusu-Ansah


The proliferation of industrialization has resulted in increased wastewater generation and its disposal has rapidly been of serious concern in recent times to environmental scientists. The discharge of these untreated or partially treated effluents into the environment, especially, surface water poses a great threat to the environment and also causes adverse human health. Industrial wastewater may contain high levels of contaminants such as suspended, colloidal and dissolved minerals, inert organic matter, heavy metals, possible pathogenic bacteria which might be either excessively acidic or alkaline in a way that may  have negative impact on all forms of life in the environment. This study was therefore conducted to determine the treated effluent quality of Tema (Ghana) Oil Refinery against the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency (EPA standards and also assess its impact on the environment. Samples of the effluents discharged from the refinery were taken and analyzed for physico-chemical parameters as well as Heavy Metals; lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), chromium(Cr), vanadium (V), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu) and iron (Fe) for three consecutive months and their mean values compared with EPA standard. The results revealed that, all the heavy metals were within the standard of the EPA regulatory standard but mean conductivity was very high with a mean value of 10399.0 as against 1500. Also a high TDS mean value of 5358.67mg/l was recorded as against the EPA standard of 1000mg/l. Unsatisfactory mean levels of BOD and COD which reflected the organic load in the water were recorded. The BOD value was found to be 60mg/l as against the EPA standard of 50mg/l while COD value was 423.7mg/l which was far above the EPA standard of 250mg/l. It is therefore recommended that, the wastewater treatment unit of the Tema Oil Refinery should be revamped to enhance the control of contaminant levels of the final effluent discharged into the environment.

Keywords: Tema Oil Refinery; environment; wastewater; regulatory bodies; waste management; Environmental Protection Agency

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5790 ISSN (Online)2225-0514

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