Assessment of underground water (boreholes) quality and levels of some heavy metals in the Upper East and Northern Regions of Ghana

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Groundwater from 28 boreholes from the Northern and 30 boreholes from the Upper East Regions of Ghana have been sampled in October 1999 (rainy season) and in March 2000 (dry season) for physicochemical studies. Some of the physicoehemical parameters determined include temperature, conductivity, acidity, colour, alkalinity, free carbon dioxide, total hardness, permanent hardness, temporary hardness, pH, TS, TDS, TSS, C1-, NO-3, NO-2, NH3-N, PO43-, SO42-, F-, I-, total Iron, total Cadmium, total Manganese, total Lead, total Zinc and total Arsenic. Ion chromatographic and atomic absorption spectrophotometric methods (A.A.S.) were used to determine anion and metals respectively. Gravimetric method was used to determine total solids and total suspended solids. Titrimetric methods were used to determine hardness, acidity, alkalinity arid free carbon dioxide. Analyses of the samples obtained from the above-named study area indicated that, some of the parameters had levels above the W.H.O. and G.W.S.C. guidelines. The levels of Iodide, NH3-N, NO2-, As, Zn, pH, colour, TDS, Conductivity, acidity, alkalinity, free carbon dioxide, TS and temperature were found to be within or below the W.H.O. and G.W.S.C. guideline values. Phosphate was high at Binjaya (8.755 mg/L) and high Manganese concentrations occurred at Tuna (0.236 mg/L) and Sowla (0.176 rng/L). Few boreholes had high Cadmium concentration but the main problem identified with groundwater in the study area w:s high levels of NO3-, Fluoride, Lead and Iron. High concentration of NO3- occurred at Gambaga(103.380 mg/I), Wakawaka (70.595 mg/L), Tuna (148.270 mg/L), Kugri (54.767 mg/L), Binduri (58.805 mg/L) and Bolgatanga (65.120 mg/L). For Fluoride concentration it was high at Chamba (4.033 mg/L), Kpasenkpe (1.704 mg/L), Bolgatanga(2.557 mg/L), Bongo (3.172 mg/L) and Kanjaga (1.770 mg/L). For Lead all the boreholes sampled in the Upper East Region exceeded the W.H.O. guideline value while 9642% of the boreholes sampled in Northern Region exceeded the guideline value. 57.47% and 40.00% of the boreholes in the Northern Region and Upper East Region respectively exceeded the W.H.O. and G.W.S.C. guideline values for Iron. There was seasonal variation in some physicochemical parameters of the groundwater although no regular pattern was observed.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Master of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry, 2000