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Lead, Zinc and Iron Pollutants Load Assessment in Selected Rivers in Southern Nigeria: Implications for Domestic Uses

DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2024.161005, PP. 58-82

Keywords: Assessment, Water-Quality-Index, Domestic, Heavy-Metals

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Abstract:

The aim of the study is to comparatively assess the concentrations of lead, zinc and iron in Rivers Ase, Warri and Ethiope, in Nigeria. Monthly water samples were collected from six randomly selected sites along the rivers course. 72 water samples were collected from each river at 0 - 15 cm depths. Samples were analysed based on the standard methods recommended by the WHO for testing lead, zinc and iron. The assessment of the water quality was done using the Water Quality Index (WQI) of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME-WQI). While hypotheses were tested using ANOVA. Findings indicated that CCME-WQI values were 47.3, 66.52 and 78.7. This meant that the water quality of River Ase is impaired and departed from desirable levels, while that of Warri and Ethiope were considered to occasionally be impaired and depart from desirable levels. The ANOVA model showed that there is a significant variation in heavy metal load in the selected rivers at P < 0.05. River water was put to domestic uses such as drinking (20.5%) preparing food (17.8%), bathing (19.8%), washing clothes and dishes (21.3%), brushing teeth (13.3%), and catering for domestic animals (7.5%). Poverty (49.5%) was the major reason for the use of river water for domestic purposes. The locals highlighted that they usually suffer from cholera (26.8%), diarrhoea (25.8%), dysentery (24%) and typhoid (23.5%) as a result of using the river water. The study recommended routine monitoring of anthropogenic and geologic activities, testing of the water regularly amongst others.

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