QUALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF UNDERGROUND WATER RESOURCES IN NKANU EAST AND NKANU WEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA. ABSTRACT: Physicochemical and bacteriological analyses of underground water resources in Nkanu East and Nkanu West Local Government Areas of Enugu state, Nigeria were carried out to evaluate the potability and quality of the rural water supplies and to provide baseline data for future quality assessment. Underground water samples were collected from ten different boreholes in Nkanu East and Nkanu West LGAs. The parameters measured include temperature, colour, pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, total dissolved solids, total hardness, calcium hardness, magnesium hardness, total alkalinity, chloride, sulphate, phosphate, nitrate, sodium, potassium, lead, chromium, copper, cadmium, nickel, iron, zinc and total coliform. The water showed near neutral pH (6.4- 8.2) favourably comparable to the WHO recommended range of 6.5-8.5, with moderate permanent hardness of 2.5-289 mg/L. Conductivity and total dissolved solids values for Amechi Idodo (4360 μs/cm, 2650 mg/L) and Mbulu Owo (4880 μs/cm, 2930 mg/L) were higher than the WHO guideline values of 1660 μs/cm and 1000 mg/L, respectively. Concentrations of most trace metals and all anions were below the WHO guideline values. However, iron,cadmium and chromium occurred at levels slightly above the WHO permissible limit. Total coliform count in Amechi Idodo and Mbulu Owo exceeded the WHO guideline value of zero. The underground waters studied are good for drinking provided they are boiled to remove microbial contamination. TABLE OF CONTENTS Title Page i Approval Page iiCertification iiiDedication ivAcknowledgement vAbstract viTable of Contents vii List of Tables xi List of Figures xiiCHAPTER ONE1.0 Introduction 11.1 Underground water quality 11.2 Background of Study 21.3 Scope of Study 31.4 Objective of Study 4CHAPTER TWO2.0 Literature Review 52.1 Water 52.1.1 Properties of water 52.1.2 Uses of Water 62.2 Types of water resources 72.2.1 Underground water 72.2.2 Surface water 82.2.3 Water in the atmosphere 122.3 Pollution 122.3.1 Water pollution 220.127.116.11 Organic pollutants 18.104.22.168 Inorganic pollutants 22.214.171.124 Sediments pollutants 126.96.36.199 Radioactive materials 188.8.131.52 Thermal pollutants 172.3.2 Underground water pollution/pollutant 184.108.40.206 Point-source pollution 220.127.116.11 Non-point source pollution 18.104.22.168 Chemical pollution 22.214.171.124 Biological pollution 126.96.36.199 Physical/Natural pollution 242.4 Water Analysis 252.4.1 Physical examination 252.4.1.1 Temperature 252.4.1.2 Turbidity 252.4.1.3 pH 2188.8.131.52 Total dissolved solids 2184.108.40.206 Conductivity 2220.127.116.11 Colour 282.4.2 Chemical examination 218.104.22.168 Hardness 222.214.171.124 Alkalinity 302.4.2.3 Calcium 302.4.2.4 Magnesium 3126.96.36.199 Chloride 3188.8.131.52 Nitrate 3184.108.40.206 Phosphate 3220.127.116.11 Potassium 318.104.22.168 Sulphate 322.214.171.124 Sodium 3126.96.36.199 Cadmium 3188.8.131.52 Chromium 3184.108.40.206 Copper 3220.127.116.11 Iron 318.104.22.168 Lead 322.214.171.124 Nickel 3126.96.36.199 Zinc 392.4.3 Microbiological examination ` 39CHAPTER THREE 3.0 Materials and Methods 413.1 Sample collection 413.2 Method of analysis 433.2.1 Turbidity 433.2.2 Temperature 433.2.3 Colour 433.2.4 Total dissolved solid 433.2.5 pH 443.2.6 Conductivity 443.2.7 Total alkalinity 443.2.8 Total hardness 453.2.9 Calcium 463.2.10 Magnesium 473.2.11 Chloride 473.2.12 Nitrate 483.2.13 Sulphate 493.2.14 Phosphate 493.2.15 Sodium 503.2.16 Potassium 503.2.17 Heavy metals determination 513.2.18 Bacteriological examination 52CHAPTER FOUR4.0 Results and Discussions 534.1 Turbidity 554.2 Colour 554.3 Conductivity 574.4 Total dissolved solid 574.5 pH 584.6 Total hardness, calcium hardness and magnesium hardness 594.7 Total alkalinity 614.8 Nitrate 624.9 Phosphate 624.10 Sulphate 634.11 Chloride 634.12 Sodium and potassium 644.13 Heavy metals 674.14 Total coliform 69Conclusion and Recommendation 69References 71CHAPTER ONE1.0 Introduction1.1 Underground water qualityWater is the matrix of life and forms the bulk of the weight of the living cells. The resources of usable water have been diminishing and are unable to meet the variety of needs of modern civilization. Water as the carrier of pathogenic microorganisms, can cause immense harm to public health. Waterborne diseases include typhoid and paratyphoid fever, dysentery and cholera, polio and infectious hepatitis . Many developing countries are witnessing a stage of development where water from shallow wells and boreholes are gradually supplementing the original sources of drinking water (surface water). The preference for underground water to surface water is borne out of the belief that before underground water can be distributed as tap water it must always be subjected to some purification, while in practice, underground waters are filtered by natural processes as they pass through columns of soils, sands, strata, or sedimentary layers of rocks and are usually clear of solid materials as they come from the aquifer, particularly if they are deep seated ones. The intricate pore spaces or water passage ways of the aquifer materials act as a fine filter and remove small particles of clay or any other fines . Organic materials decay or are destroyed in transit. Thus, the dirtiest and most polluted sewage water may become clear of suspended/particulate solid materials once it has gone through a thick bed of sand or geologic and pedologic units. As a result of this natural self-cleansing of polluted water by deep-seated aquifers, physical and biological aspects of pollution may not pose serious problems in underground waters . Thus, underground water may not be treated before use and is believed to be free from pollution. In spite of all this, underground waters may have pollutants that not only depend on the geology, pedology, and mineralogy of the formations it flows through but also on the constituent pollutants/contaminants in the water that recharges the underground water. Unsatisfactory colour and taste are easily detected and are good indicators for underground waters of poor quality. Some underground waters taste of iron, others may have a disagreeable odor. Borehole waters must, as a rule, be analyzed for chemical contaminants before the water is distributed and supplied to households .1.2 Background of Study The area of study is Nkanu East and Nkanu West. A Local Government Area in Enugu State, Nigeria, Nkanu East borders Ebonyi State to the east. Its Headquarters is Amagunze. It is a rural area with a population of about 148, 774 and land mass of approximately 795 km2.. Nkanu West has its Headquarters at Agbani. It has an area of 225 km2 and a population of 146,695. The major occupation in these areas is farming. The various communities making up the two local government areas live in small villages, which still have considerable natural surroundings. Although there are springs and streams, most of the communities rely on boreholes for their water supply due to proximity and modernity . Due to increased use of fertilizers and pesticides in this areas part of which is leached into the underground water through the soil, there is increased risk of pollution of these boreholes. Enugu, the state of study was previously mined for coal and underground water pollution is an ever present risk in areas of mining. Also most of the people use pit toilets which are sources of underground water pollution . 1.3 Scope of Study Samples of water from ten boreholes in the two LGAs specifically in Amechi Idodo, Mbulu Owo, Umueze, Agbani, Ugbawka, Isiogbo Nara, Akpugo, Amurri, Nara Unateze and Amodu Awkunanaw are to be collected. Physicochemical, bacteriological and trace metal analysis comprising of temperature, colour, pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, total dissolved solids, total alkalinity, total hardness, calcium, magnesium, chloride, nitrate, phosphate, sulphate, sodium, potassium, total coliform, lead, copper, zinc, chromium, cadmium, and nickel are to be undertaken and values obtained are to be compared with World Health Organization (WHO) guideline values. 1.4 Objective of Study There are yet no reported physicochemical or bacteriological studies of underground water resources in Nkanu East and Nkanu West Local government Areas. Therefore we set out to analyze borehole water samples from these areas in order to ascertain the potability and safety of the water by comparing the concentration levels with set standards and to procure the present quality status as baseline data for future periodic monitoring of the underground water quality in this area..