Water Quality of the Major Streams Serving: the Owabi Reservoir

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Water samples from five streams namely, Owabi (Kronum), Akyeampomene, Pumpunase, Sukobri and Owabi (Atafoa), which are the major streams feeding the Owabi Reservoir from December 2006 to April 2007, were analysed for various pollution indicators, using standard methods of World Health Organization (WHO) and the America Public Health Association (APHA). Physical parameters such as, temperature, pH and conductivity were found to be within the acceptable limits of the World Health Organization and Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana except Pumpunase and Sukobri which had conductivity 4 eve Is aboVe the standards. All the streams also showed turbidity and colour concentrations above the WHO and EPA - Ghana limits of 5 NTU and 5 PtCo; and 75 NTU and 15 PtCo respectively. Nutrients levels were, generally, low and did not show any clear variation at sample locations except phosphate whose concentration was above WHO and EPA-Ghana recommended limits. Dissolved oxygen was extremely low in all the streams, which were evident in high Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) above the permissible WHO, and EPA - Ghana limits. Ionic concentrations in all the streams were generally low with a general ionic dominance contrast to that of fresh water. Grease and oil were found to have polluted all the stream waters with concentrations above the permissible WHO and EPA - Ghana limits of 10 mg/L. Heavy metals were generally low suggesting low metal pollution of the streams. However, the microbial quality of the stream water was poor, rendering it unsafe for domestic purposes without prior treatment. The streams have an appreciable self-purification capacity which is stressed by persistent pollution overloads caused by expanding human activities within the catchment. Cluster analysis performed on the data to determine pollution patterns between the streams depicts that Owabi stream was less polluted; Akyeampomene and Sukobri were moderately polluted whiles Pumpunase stream was the most polluted.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Faculty of Bioscience, College of Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science And Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the Requirement for the Degree of Master of Science (Environmental Science), 2008