1.1 Background to the Study

Surface water is one of the main sources of water supply (NEST 1991), and it comprises of rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, wetland and oceans (Nigeria Industrial Standard(NIS),2007). However, surface water has been adversely affected because of pollution from point and non-point sources. Surface water pollution occurs when harmful substances are released into water bodies and this could be through natural and artificial sources (Uchegbu,2002). Akaninwor et al., (2007) and Singh and Singh, (2012) pointed that surface water pollution is mostly experienced as a result of domestic waste water, surface run-off and industrial effluent discharge (Tsaghinia, et al., 2010) and their sources (NPDES,2008) are manufacturing commercial businesses, mining, agricultural production processing and effluent from clean-up of petroleum and chemical contaminated sites. Fellman et al.,(1995) reported that manufacturing companies in United Stars of America dumped polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into rivers. Industrial effluent contain heavy metals (Badmus et al.,2007) which may damage aquatic eco system, health of aquatic animals and those who eat them (The Guides Network,2008). Although not all of the effects of PCBs on surface waters and human health are known, they have been linked to birth defects, damage to immune system, liver disease and cancer (Fellman et al.,1995).

Surface water is uses in various ways such as drinking, commercial, agricultural, and industrial activities (Akan et al.,2009). Despite the importance of surface water in han life, it is the most poorly managed resources in the world (Fakayode,2005). The increase in demand for water for various uses arising from increase in global population and fast growth of industries around the world has put pressure on limited water resources (Norman and Michel, 2000, Phiri et al., and kedewa,2005 and NPDES,2008). The principal cause of water scarcity is water quality degradation, which critically reduce the quantity and quality of water Available for potable and agricultural and industrial uses (Norman and Michel,2000). Thus the quantity of available water is closely linked to the quality of water, which may limit its uses.

1.2 Problem Statement

There are several studies that confirmed the existence of surface water pollution at various levels in Nigeria (FEPA,1991,NEST,1991,Ezeigbo and Ezeanyim,1993, Nnodu and I'll,2000,Adekunle and Eniola,2008 and China et al.,2009), none of the studies made reference to effect of human activities on surface water quality of Ekulu river. Hence there is need to do so.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

Theajor objective of the study is the effect of han activities on surface water quality of Ekulu river. This is to be achieved through the following specific objectives:

(i) the physiochemical analysis of the surface water of the Ekulu river and

(ii) Microbiological examination of the surface water of the Ekulu river.

1.4 Research Question

1. What is surface water?

2. What is water quality?

3. What are the human activities around or on Ekulu river?

4. Why the need to determine the effect of human activities on surface water quality of Ekulu river?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study assess the effect of human activities on surface water quality of Ekulu river. The findings and recommendations of these research will enlighten us on which of the activities are detremental to the surface water quality of the river. The findings also shows the present level of the effect of human activities.

1.6 Scope of the study

The research focuses on the effect of human activities on surface water quality of the river.


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Singh, S.R. and Singh, A.P. treatment of water containing chromium (VI) using Rice Husk Carbon as a new coast absorbent.

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