Ground water is the source of drinking water for many people around the world, especially in rural areas. A lot of parameters such as the concentrations of Arsenic, Copper, Zinc and other heavy metals in conjunction with other physico-chemical properties contribute to the suitability of water for drinking and for other purposes. This study was carried out in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District of the Western region of Ghana to assess the presence and the levels of selected heavy metals (As, Cu, Zn) pollution of boreholes from different villages in the study areas using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). The result of the study revealed that, the mean concentrations of As, Cu and Zn in the analyzed samples were 0.00143, 0.0186 and 0.0329 mg/L, respectively. The analysis of variance showed that there were significant differences in the Arsenic concentrations among the eight boreholes (F=4.078, P=0.033). However, the differences in the concentrations of Copper (F=1.592, P=0.264) and Zinc (F=0.741, P=0.647) from the eight boreholes were not significant. Concentrations of the selected heavy metals in analysed water samples were below the acceptable limits of World Health Organization (WHO) and Ghana Environmental Protection Agency (GEPA). The concentration of the selected heavy metals may be attributed to the activities of panners, improper disposal of sewage and solid materials containing toxic chemicals and the indiscriminate use of farming inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides which have impacted on the water quality of the selected boreholes in the study areas. Although the levels of the selected heavy metals in these water samples did not exceed WHO and GEPA permissible limits, it is necessary for residents in the study areas to be provided with potable water.
Key words: Ground water, heavy metals, Arsenic, Copper, Zinc.
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