ASSESSMENT OF THE PHYSICOCHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF WATER IN AN URBAN RIVER IN ABUJA, NIGERIA
The assessment of physicochemical characteristics of water from River Wupa, Abuja, Nigeria was carried out to ascertain its suitability for domestic and industrial usage. Sixty water samples were taken from ten locations along the length of the river in both dry and wet seasons. The samples were analyzed for pH, temperature, EC, TDS, TSS, turbidity, alkalinity, DO, BOD, COD, hardness, sulphate, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, and chloride using standard methods prescribed by AOAC. The results obtained for these respective parameters pH, temperature, EC, TDS, TSS, turbidity, alkalinity, DO, BOD, COD, hardness, sulphate, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate and chloride were (7.01-7.29), (20.70-22.10ºC), (172.20-293.00 µS/cm), (102.00-207.00 mg/dm3), (15.90-65.00 mg/dm3), (11.00-58.00 mg/dm3), (27.50-38.90 mg/dm3), (7.00-8.00 mg/dm3), (10.00-25.00 mg/dm3), (15.50-60.10 mg/dm3), (30.40-36.50 mg/dm3), (39.90-42.70 mg/dm3), (10.00-15.00 mg/dm3), (0.05-0.10 mg/dm3), (1.70-2.70 mg/dm3) and (37.00-49.00 mg/dm3) in dry season. In wet season the respective results were (7.24-7.43), (26.70-28.30ºC), (121.60-176.40 µS/cm), (62.00-86.50 mg/dm3), (287.00-430.00 mg/dm3), (299.00-492.00 mg/dm3), (23.70-35.00 mg/dm3), (7.00-9.87 mg/dm3), (12.00-20.00 mg/dm3), (14.60-45.00 mg/dm3), (28.00-40.00 mg/dm3), (27.60-30.80 mg/dm3), (9.00-15.00 mg/dm3), (0.03-0.09 mg/dm3), (1.80-2.70 mg/dm3) and (27.90-38.00 mg/dm3). These results revealed that the levels of all the physicochemical parameters determined for all sampling locations were below the tolerable limits recommended by NSDWQ and WHO except for turbidity, DO and phosphate values from all sampling locations which were higher compared to tolerable recommended limits. It is concluded that the water from River Wupa cannot be said to be wholly safe for usage by humans because of some health risks that are associated with the parameters with values higher than those of the regulatory bodies. It is, therefore, recommended that the water quality of the river be monitored regularly and the water should be treated to make it safe for use.