Assessing The Impact of Septic Tanks on Groundwater Quality of selected communities around KNUST Campus

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Water is an indispensable resource to mankind and life in general. Over the world, issues of water scarcity and quality are becoming pronounced with increasing global population, industrialization and urbanization. As a result, groundwater has become an important source of water supply throughout the world. The pressure on land and its resources in the study communities as they serve as residence for students, lecturers and the business community has impacted on groundwater quality. Small pieces of land acquired for building virtually does not give room for considering the siting of septic tanks and underground water. The quality of groundwater from eight boreholes/wells from Ayeduase, Boadi and Kotei in the Oforikrom Sub-Metro of the Ashanti Region were analyzed between February and July 2017. Water samples were collected from the eight boreholes/wells within the three communities and analyzed for temperature, pH, and some selected anions NO3- , SO2 -4 and Cl￾and bacteriological parameters such as total coliform and faecal coliform. The GPS locations of other 54 boreholes and the closest septic tank were taken and the kriging interpolation was applied to extrapolate values of the measured parameters at these locations. The results from the analysis showed that pH of the water was slightly acidic (4.8 to 5.9). With the chemical parameters measured, all of them were within the WHO guidelines for drinking water, ranging from 11.7587 to 53.4723 mg/L, 0.00048 mg/l to 19.4753mg/l, and 4.22 to 40.32 mg/l for chlorides, sulfates and nitrates respectively. Both the total coliform and the faecal coliform levels were low, 0.07 CFU/100ml – 7.94 CFU/100ml for the total coliform count and 2.59 CFU/ml – 19.89 CFU/ml for the faecal coliform count. The research also measured the effect of septic tank-borehole/well distance on the variables measured. A regression analysis revealed that there was zero to weak correlation in all the parameters measured, with the “r” values as -0.02, -0.05, -0.04, 0.06, -0.09, 0.11 and -0.42 for total coliform, sulfate, pH, faecal coliform, nitrates and chlorides respectively.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Materials Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY IN ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT