Assessment of Water Quality of the Tuse Pond in Atebubu in the Atebubu-Amantin District of Ghana

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Access to safe water is vital in the prevention of water-borne diseases especially in less developed countries where clean water generally is unavailable for the majority of their rural population. This study was carried out to assess the suitability of the Tuse pond as a source of drinking water for the people of Atebubu. Samples were taken in duplicates from five different locations in the pond once a month for six successive months and some selected physico-chemical and bacteriological parameters were determined during the wet season (September to November) and the dry season (December to February). Analysis of samples was performed using pH meter, conductivity meter, turbidity meter and a multifunctional meter (HANNA, model HI 9032) for determining pH, conductivity, turbidity and total dissolved solids respectively. Nitrite concentration was determined by comparator method using Lovibond Nessleriser (model 2150) while argentometric method was used to determine chloride concentration. Total hardness was measured by titration using Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetic acid. For the determination of ammonia, nitrate, sulphate, phosphate, fluoride, and iron concentrations the Palintest Photometer method was used. Total coliforms, faecal coliforms and Escherichia coli were identified using single strength MacConkey broth and Tryptone water by the three-tube Most Probable Number Method. To determine Salmonella and Enterococci concentrations, sterilized peptone water and Slanetz Bartley Agar respectively were used. Results from the study indicated that only turbidity, colour and iron among the selected physico-chemical parameters exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline values for drinking water. Values for colour, turbidity and iron ranged from 90 – 920 Hz; 9.3 – 220 NTU and non-detectable to 0.39 mg/L respectively for the wet season and then 62 – 670 Hz; 20.7 – 72.3 NTU; and 0.12 – 0.37 mg/L respectively for the dry season. All bacteriological parameters examined showed high values that exceeded the WHO guideline values for drinking water. The concentration of total coliforms ranged from 4.0 x 103 – 240 x 106MPN/100 mL; faecal coliforms, 4.5 x 102 – 240 x 103MPN/100 mL; Escherichia coli, 4.2 x 101 – 920 x 102MPN/100 mL; Salmonella, 2.3 x 101 – 92 x 101CFU/100 mL; and Enterococci, 1.0 x 104 – 9.4 x 104CFU/100 mL for the wet season. The dry season values ranged from 4.0 x 103 – 4.5 x 105MPN/100 mL for total coliform; 9.0 x 102 – 4.3 x 103MPN/100 mL for faecal coliform; 9.0 x 101 – 2.4 x 102 for Escherichia coli; 2.0 x 101 – 9.2 x 101 for Salmonella; and 2.0 x 103 – 3.1 x 104 for Enterococci. The high levels of faecal coliforms, E. coli, Salmonella and Enterococci detected in the samples especially in the wet season indicate possible faecal contamination of the Tuse pond. The study identifies that the pond becomes more contaminated during the wet season since its quality in the dry season is significantly better than that of the wet season. Consumption of water in the pond without any form of treatment could therefore give rise to disease outbreaks such as cholera, dysentery and diarrhoea,2012
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Environmental Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science In Environmental Science