The eutrophication potential of water and sediments of the Tatafo stream in the Mampong Municipality of Ghana

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Euthrophication results from increased nutrient loads specifically, nitrogen and phosphorus enrichment in water bodies. The Tatafo stream is one of the direct sources of drinking water for some people in the Mampong-Ashanti municipality and surrounding communities. The stream has been encroached by vegetable growers mainly carrot farmers resulting in pollution of the water body. The Euthrophication potential of both water and sediments of Tatafo stream within the Mampong – Ashanti Municipality was assessed. The levels of pH, electrical conductivity, Total dissolved solids, total suspended solids, biochemical oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, phosphate and nitrate in water, phosphorus and nitrogen in sediments, among others were determined. Three sampling sites were selected along the stream and studied over a period of five months. The results of the study revealed high levels of nitrate above the WHO limits of (5.0 mg/l), upstream samples recorded 7.02 mg/l, 7.33 mg/l in the midstream and 6.61 mg/l in the downstream along the sections of the stream. The findings also revealed that the values of organic matter (0.18%) and organic carbon (0.58%) varied significantly (P < 0.05). However, Turbidity values of 53 NTU at the upstream, 67.9 NTU at midstream and 38.4 at down stream and Total Suspended Solids values ranging from a mean 27.40 mg/l to 132.6 mg/ were all above the World Health Organization limits of 5 NTU and 20 mg/l respectively. Adverse impact on the physico-chemical parameters as a result of vegetable crop farming along the stream poses an environmental and health risk to the people in the Mampong town and nearby communities who rely directly on the stream as the source of water for their domestic use. There is the need for the intervention of appropriate regulatory agencies to check the activities of farmers along the stream and educate people who directly depend on the stream.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, College of Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science degree in Environmental Science.