Water Quality Assessment of Ekulu and Asata Rivers in Enugu Area, Southeastern Nigeria, Using Physico-Chemical and Bacteriological Parameters

Ken-Onukuba, D.N., Okeke, O.C., Amadi, C.C., Akaolisa, C.C.Z, Okonkwo, S.I., Offoh, J.I, Nwachukwu, H.G.O.


This study was aimed at assessing the impacts of human activities on the quality of Ekulu and Asata Rivers in Enugu Area, Southeastern Nigeria. Twelve (12) water samples six (6) from Ekulu River and (six 6) from Asata River) were collected at different points along the regime of the two rivers and their physico-chemical and bacteriological characteristics/parameters determined. Results of the study indicate that the two rivers do not satisfy the Drinking Water Quality Standard of World Health Organization (WHO) and Federal Ministry of Environment (FMENV) in terms of pH/acidity (values between 4.5 and 7.0 and outside the WHO Standard of 6-5-8-5); turbidity (values between 7.88 and 294NTU units and greater than WHO standard of 5.0NTU units); iron (values between 3.10 and 7.35 mg/1 and greater than WHO standard of below 0.30mg/l; and coliform (values between 20 and 180 counts per 100ml and greater than WHO Standard of 3 counts per 100ml). Though Ekulu River is more acidic (lower pH values), more turbid (higher NTU units) and contains higher concentration of iron than Asata River. On the other hand, only Asata River do not satisfy the WHO Standards in terms of nitrate concentration (values between 8.9 and 25.9mg/l and greater than WHO Standard of 10 mg/1): and chromium (heavy metal, values between 0.189 and 0.429 mg/1 and greater than WHO Standard of 0.00lmg/1) Human activities of mining at abandoned Onyeama Coal Mine, car watch and disposal of industrial/domestic wastes are believed to be responsible for poor water quality of the two rivers in Enugu area. On the basis of Piper Diagram Classification, Ekulu River may be classified as Calcium Chloride Type, while Asata River may be classified as Mixed Water Type. Water from the two rivers, to be used for domestic and industrial purposes, should be adequately treated; and there is need to institute regular water quality monitoring programme for the two rivers.

Keywords: Water Quality, Ekulu River, Asata River, Enugu Area, Assessment, Piper Diagram

DOI: 10.7176/JEES/11-4-07

Publication date: April 30th 2021

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

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