Domestic Wastewater Characterization and Potential for Treatment Using Close-to-Nature Methods

Melvin-Guy Adonadaga, Jabab Enoch, Afedo Selorm Kwame


Many countries in the developing world face the enormous challenge of effectively handling wastewater generated in urban centres mainly because population growth and urbanization have outpaced provision of sanitation infrastructure. The discharge of untreated wastewater poses risks to human health since it contains excreta-related pathogens as well as other chemical contaminants. The focus of this research was to characterize wastewater generated from educational institutions in Ghana in order to recommend a suitable treatment method. Wastewater samples were collected over a three-month period and tested for physicochemical parameters of relevance to environmental pollution. The bucket and stopwatch method was used to determine the flow rates of the wastewater generated at the various institutions while all other parameters were determined using standard methods. The levels of most of the parameters were generally within the recommended guideline values set by the WHO and the EPA of Ghana. However, chloride, phosphorus and hardness recorded values of 793 mg/l, 79 mg/l and 18,500 mg/l, far exceeding their guideline values of 250 mg/l, 2 mg/l and 500 mg/l respectively set by the EPA of Ghana. It is recommended that some pretreatment should be carried out before discharge of the wastewater. Additionally, constructed wetlands are suggested as a suitable method of decentralized treatment considering the strength and flow rate of the wastewater.

Keywords: Environmental pollution, Domestic wastewater characterization

DOI: 10.7176/JEES/9-3-05

Publication date:March 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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