Impact of the activities of the Ahwiaa timber processing firm on groundwater quality: a case study of Ahwiaa township of the Kwabre East District of the Ashanti Region

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
It is perceived that wood preservatives when used close to water bodies eventually contaminate them. The effect of a wood (teak) preservation factory that uses chemicals with high heavy metal content on water resources within the Kwabre East District of Ghana was assessed on wells. Wells, selected randomly from four locations using a hand-held Global Positioning System Device, were analysed for the heavy metals As, Cu, Cr and Zn using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS). Arsenic (As) and Chromium (Cr) levels in the water samples were less than 0.01 mg/l. Zinc (Zn) content ranged between 0.10mg/l to 0.26mg/l. Copper (Cu) content was between 0.05mg/l to 0.08mg/l. The ground waters were slightly acidic ( pH = 5.36 to 6.51). Significant differences were observed in pH, conductivity (65μS/cm to 362μS/cm), TDS (39.6mg/l to 206.5mg/l) and TSS (1.60mg/l to 5.10mg/l) were observed among the water samples. However, the water samples did not differ in terms of temperature (27.90oC to 28.09oC), turbidity (0.01NTU to 0.21NTU) and colour (0.01PCU to 0.76 PCU). Nitrate content of the water samples ranged from 0.0035 mg/l to 0.0083 mg/l and for phosphate (PO4) between 0.02mg/l to 0.32 mg/l. Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) of the water sampled ranged between 0.04mg/l and 0.09mg/l. Significant differences were observed for nitrate and phosphate content in the water samples but no significant differences were observed for BOD. All parameters studied were within WHO guideline limits. Generally, the well water sources in the Kwabre East district were not affected by the wood preservatives being used by the factory and are safe for consumption.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial Fulfillment of the requirement for the award of Master of Science degree (MSc. Environmental Science),