African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 1071

Full Length Research Paper

Urban water pollution by heavy metals and health implication in Onitsha, Nigeria

A. C. C. Ezeabasili
  • A. C. C. Ezeabasili
  • Heriot Watt University, UK.
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O. L. Anike
  • O. L. Anike
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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B. U. Okoro
  • B. U. Okoro
  • Department of Civil Engineering, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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  •  Received: 05 September 2013
  •  Accepted: 24 February 2015
  •  Published: 30 April 2015


Studies of common heavy metals were conducted at Onitsha, Anambra State, the most urbanized city in Southeastern Nigeria. It was discovered that both surface and subsurface water were heavily polluted. Seven (7) heavy metals namely: arsenic (As+2), cadmium (Cd+2), lead (Pb+2), mercury (Hg+2), zinc (Zn+2), copper (Cu+2) and iron (Fe+2) were studied. Their major sources include wastes like refuse dumps, effluent from industries, sewage, fuel spills from dumps and mechanic workshops, hospital and pharmaceutical wastes, agricultural materials, fossil fuel combustion, metallurgical industries, electronic components and semi-conductors, batteries, pigments and paints. Further data were collected in ongoing research works in the area and public enlightenment was done in a small scale. Recommendations are made to government to note the impending dangers of further urban environmental pollution by these trace metals.
Key words: Polluted, effluents, research, urban.