Impact of Dimension Stone Production on the Environment: A Case Study at Granites & Marbles Company Limited, Ghana.

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The study evaluated the impacts of dimension stone production on the environment at the Tongo Quarry and the Factory at Accra. The variables studied were the blasting noise, pollution of nearby water sources and pollution of effluent discharge from factory. The study described the standard procedures for collecting and processing samples for water and sediment, and field analyses of conductivity, pH, temperature, and dissolved oxygen. An experimental study was carried out on sediment and water samples in the laboratory to assess the level of heavy metal pollution. For this study, several composite samples were collected and analysed. The pH and turbidity values of the water samples were 6.3-7.45 pH and 0.15-118 NTU respectively. Curves were drawn that relate metal concentrations in Water and Soil Samples. With the exception of chromium concentration in samples, GM1s and FS1 which have very high values of 2.64 mg/l and 1.34 mg/l respectively, all the other samples were below the maximum permissible level of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ghana guidelines for discharge into natural water bodies. Quality assurance is maintained by strict collecting and processing procedures, replicate sampling, equipment blank samples, and a rigid cleaning procedure using detergent, hydrochloric acid and methanol. In this thesis, blasting operation and its possible environmental effects are defined. To achieve the study objectives, 24 blasts were carried out and 3 sets of recordings were taken for each distance of 4m, 210m, 416m, 622m 824m and 2000m. A measurement was recorded for each site for ambient noise levels. From this, experiment curves were drawn that relate average ambient and noise levels in decibels with distance from blasting point towards the community. The evaluation was performed if the noise level were within safe limits or not. The field experimental work conducted indicated that the highest blasting noise of 92.3 dB and 85.2 dB recorded at distances of 824m and 2000m respectively are within acceptable maximum permissible level of 115 dB with 5% allowable to 120 dB or less in an annual period.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Materials Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science (Environmental Resources Management)