Assessing the Water Quality of River Asuotia And Six Hand-Dug Wells at Wamfie in the Dormaa East District of Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana

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he reliance on rivers and hand-dug wells as the only source of good drinking water in most communities in Ghana makes the assessment of the quality of such water sources important. A large section of population of Wamfie is outside the grid of treated water supplied by the Bia water treatment plant and as such depend on River Asuotia and hand-dug wells to meet their basic daily water requirement. These water sources unlike treated piped water are not monitored for pollution indicators even though bulk of the population relies on them for drinking and other domestic activities. The study looked at the water quality of River Asuotia and six hand-dug wells which serve as source of water to the greater section of Wamfie inhabitants in terms of microbial load and some physico-chemical parameters. Water samples were collected and analyzed monthly for four months from December 2011 to March 2012. The results were compared with World Health Organization (WHO) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ghana standards for drinking water. Physico-chemical parameters such as conductivity and total dissolved solids were low in the wells and the river studied. The pH of the wells was found to be acidic whilst that of the river was neutral. The river showed high turbidity level above WHO/EPA-Ghana recommended guideline value of 0-10NTU. Arsenic and lead were below detection in both water sources. Iron levels in the wells were within standard limit but high in the river. Nitrate concentration was also low in the river. There were presence of total coliforms, faecal coliforms and E. coli in both water sources at levels high above WHO/EPA-Ghana maximum control level for drinking water. It is recommended among others that the wells should be disinfected at least once a year, and be sited at higher elevations away from septic tanks, refuse dumps and latrines. Free range system of raising animals should be discouraged in the community to avoid indiscriminate defecating and direct access to the river by grazing and domestic animals to prevent faecal pollution.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department Of Environmental Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi,In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Award of the Master of Science Degree In Environmental Science,