Microbiological and physico-chemical assessment of surface water quality along Asukawkaw River in the Volta Region.

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This study (conducted between March and June, 2012), assessed the water quality of the Asukawkaw River in the Nkwanta South District of the Volta Region. Composite water samples drawn from some sections of the Asukawkaw river from five sampling points, Asukawkaw Upstream, Asukawkaw Downstream, Dodo Tamale, Dodo Bethel and Dodo Fie were analysed in the laboratory for temperature, pH, turbidity, conductivity, TDS, TSS alkalinity, and some selected nutrients (SO4 2-,PO3- 4, NO2 -,NO- 4) some heavy metals (Fe, Pb Zn, Cd, and Cr) and total and faecal coliforms. The results indicated that turbidity, total iron, chromium, faecal coliforms and total coliforms were above the guidelines set by the WHO and the 2003 Ghana Raw Water Criteria and Guidelines for domestic use. With the exception of temperature and pH, all the other parameters experienced a general increase during the sampling regime due to the influence of rainfall with turbidity, conductivity and total dissolved solids recording high values. The nutrient concentrations observed in the water were slightly low and fell within the WHO standards except for PO4 2- at Dodo Bethel and Asukawkaw Downstream. There were high levels of Fe, some considerable concentrations of Cr contamination at all the sampling points. All other heavy metal parameters were below detection limit (BDL). Pollution Load Index (PLI) assessment of the river for Fe, Pb, Cd, Zn, Cr and Al indicates an unpolluted water body. The mean total coliforms ranged between 497.50 TC/100ml and 1323.25TC/100ml while all the samples analyzed recorded 121.00 FC/100ml and 425.50FC/100ml for faecal coliforms.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Environmental Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in Partial Fulfillment of the Award of Master of Science in Environmental Science, October-2012