Water Quality Assessment of Okpauku River for Drinking and Irrigation Uses in Yala, Cross River State, Nigeria
Surface composite water samples from seventeen different locations along Okpauku river were analyzed for various water quality parameters following standard methods prescribed by American Public Health Association/American Water Works Association/Water Environment Federation (APHA/AWWA/WEF). The results revealed that the water quality parameters showed significant (p≤0.05) variations among the different locations on the river, except for the ammonia-nitrogen and iron. However, the physicochemical parameters of the river at different locations were below the WHO and FAO limits for drinking and irrigation water uses except for the temperature, turbidity and pH. Mean concentrations of major ions, nutrients and heavy metals in all the locations were generally low when compared to the acceptable standards for drinking water (WHO) except for ammonia-nitrogen and iron in location 2, but fall within the allowable limits for irrigation (FAO). The microbiological parameters examined were far above the recommended guidelines given by WHO and FAO, for drinking and irrigation water uses. Nevertheless, apart from the microbial organisms, turbidity and ammonia-nitrogen, the river water may be regarded as a suitable source of water for drinking, irrigation and other domestic uses in the area. Thus, a dam could be constructed across the river in order to subject the water to some treatment processes, especially elimination of enteric microbes and to reduce the turbidity to the required standard before being used.
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