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Groundwater Quality Assessment for Domestic and Irrigation Purposes in Yola, Adamawa State Northeastern Nigeria

Keywords: Groundwater , heavy metal , physicochemical parameters , water quality

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To assess groundwater quality for domestic and irrigation purposes in Yola Adamawa State during the peak of dry season, groundwater samples were collected for analysis from fifteen boreholes and five hands dug wells that cover twenty wards of the City. The area investigated falls within longitude 12o26' E and Latitude 9o16' N. The groundwater samples collected were analyzed using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS), multi – analyte photometer and flame photometer while interpretation of the results was done by Comparison with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Nigerian Standard for Drinking Water Quality (NSDWQ) guidelines for portable water. The pH values ranged from acidic to slightly alkaline 5.5 – 7.4, turbidity recorded 0 – 40NTU with four samples above the limit of 5NTU.TDS and EC recorded values ranged between 17 – 1200mg/l, 129 - 1600μs/cm with two samples each above stipulated limit. The concentrations of the cat ions (Ca, Mg, Na, and K) are all found below the guideline of WHO and NSDWQ. Sulphate and bicarbonate recorded value range of 2 – 94.1mg/l and 11 – 630mg/l, which are also below the value of 100mg/l and 1000mg/l set by NSDWQ and WHO standards; however the recorded value of nitrate exceeded the specified limit of 50mg/l in seven water samples. Five water samples are classified as hard water based on the limit of 150mg/l and 500mg/l total hardness classification by the limit under consideration. The concentrations of heavy metals cadmium, lead, chromium, copper, manganese and iron were all found to exceed the WHO and NSDWQ standards. Iron concentration exceeded 0.3mg/l in seventeen water sample, manganese concentration exceeded 0.2mg/l and 0.05mg/l in twelve water samples, lead exceeded the limit of 0.01mg/l in seven water samples, also, chromium and cadmium exceeded limits of 0.05mg/l and 0.003mg/l in four and six water samples, copper exceeded set limit in only one sample while Nickel concentration exceeds in two water samples; others are beyond detection level. In all, concentration of heavy metals in groundwater is in the order Mn >Fe > Pb > Cd > Cr > Cu > Ni. The implication of the elevated levels of heavy metals in some samples of groundwater is a serious cause for concern to public health. Most of the groundwater samples are good and can be used for irrigation with adequate soil management


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