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Compositional evaluation and quality status of surface waters of MBATABIATI and Oberekkai Creeks of the great Kwa River, Southeastern Nigeria

Bassey Edem Ephraim and Ifedayo Olumide Ajayi

Water samples collected from Mbat-Abbiati and Oberekkai Creeks of the Great Kwa River were subjected to analysis for chemical characteristics, in an effort to determine the suitability of the waters for drinking, irrigation and other purposes. Investigation of the physicochemical properties show that the water displays favorable conditions of temperature, and exhibits low values of total dissolved solids (TDS), electrical conductivity (EC) and salinity, and these boosts the suitability of the surface waters for various purposes. The reduced BOD contents accounts for increased Dissolved Oxygen available for the survival of aquatic organisms in the Creeks. Additionally, the observed slight acidic character of the water appear critical as it is considerably harsh for the sustenance of fauna and flora, and favours dissolution of trace elements which are non-biodegradable and hazardous. Apart from Mg, Fe and Mn, the concentration of most of the studied chemical species in the investigated waters are below the respective permissible limits of the Standard Organization of Nigeria, World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of Nigeria. Thus, the water is suitable for drinking, irrigation and crop production since both Creeks appear free from any significant pollution or contamination threat regarding HCO3 -, SO4 2, PO4 3, Cl-, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, Cu, Zn and Cr. However, despite the fact that sodium percent (Na %) and alkalinity or sodium hazard (SAR) underlines the suitability of the waters for irrigation purposes, some level of caution must be exercised with respect to Mg, Mn, and Fe contents of the Creek waters before the water can be considered for agricultural purposes. Besides, the accumulation of Mn in the waters is a cause for concern for marine life as it could lead to manganese toxicity in biota. It appears mining/rock quarrying, agricultural and other anthropogenic activities, as well as lithology are responsible for the sourcing of the various major ions, heavy metal, among other chemical character of the surface waters of Mbat-Abbiati and Oberekkai Creek

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