Potability of Some Hand Dug Well Water in Some Selected Communities in Obuasi

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When water is talked of, its quality should not be undermined since it has great effects on man. Obuasi has been one of the towns whose water quality is always questioned due to the mining and other activities of theindigenes. It wastherefore necessary to ascertainhow potable some sources (precisely wellwater) of water for drinking were.In this work, a total of 27 well water samples were collected from three selected communities(Tutuka, Aboagyekrom, Kwabrafoso) in Obuasi township between February and April.The locations of the wells were considered during the choice of wells especially those close to waste water channels. The samples were analyzed formicrobiological parameters such as faecal coliform, total coliform, total heterotrophic bacteria and enterococci. The loads of total and faecal coliforns were as high as 9.5×105 and 2.2×105cfu100m/L respectively in some of the samples. Total heterotrophic bacteria were also present, with the least of 6.0×101cfu1m/L and the highest of 6.9×105cfu1m/L but enterococci were absent in all the water samples. Physicochemical parameters such as pH, Conductivity, Alkalinity, Total Dissolved solids, Total Suspended solids, Turbidity, Cyanide, Arsenic, Mercury, Cadmium and lead were analyzed. pH of the samples were mostly high and ranged between 4.16 and 6.97. The samples recorded turbidity and total suspended solids level between 0.00 and 79.50 and between 1.00 and 4.00 respectively. Total dissolved solids and conductivity levels were all below the WHO guideline values of 1000mg/L and 1500μS/cm respectively. Most of the samples had their alkalinity level below the WHO guideline value except samples from KWA7 which recorded the highest value of 2552.50mg/L.In terms of metals Lead concentration in the samples of well water ranged between 0.02mg/L and 0.18mg/L with the least exceeding the WHO guideline value for Lead (0.01mg/L).Cadmium also recorded some loads only within the first month (February) and ranged between 0.001mg/L and 0.020mg/L with most of its well waters exceeding the WHO standard value of 0.003mg/L. Concentration of Mercury were also high ranging from 0.00mg/L to 0.58mg/L exceeding the WHO guideline value of 0.01mg/L. As and CN were absent in all the samples.Considering the results it observed thatthe well waters were contaminated by microbes, trace metals and other suspended and dissolved solids. The accumulative nature of these metals could be very harmful to individuals who use these waters as potable water. In conclusion, all the water samples could be recommended for washing and flushing of toilets but not for potable water.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Environmental Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Environmental Science