The coastal flanks of Mt Etinde is wedged between the sea and the southwestern slope of Mt Cameroon. The only fresh water resources available for multipurpose uses in this area are mountain springs and streams that drain volcanic materials. To access the sources, processes and assess the ecological risk associated with hydrochemicals and heavy metals in these mountain water resources, 18 water samples were collected in different seasons at 4 locations between may 2009 and december 2010 for major ions and heavy metals determination. The sampled waters ranged from neutral to slithly alkaline, weakly mineralized and dominated by Ca–Mg–HCO3 water type irrespective of season. The hydrochemical ratios revealed ions chemistry mostly influenced by geogenic source of silicate rock weathering and atmospheric inputs. Sampled waters had low concentration of heavy metals which are less mobile in the aqueous phase, controlled by hydraulic condition. Geochemical processes of mineral dissolution and reverse ion exchange coupled with hydrodynamic processes of flushing at the weathering front and soil leaching are the main controls on the water chemistry in the area. Despite agricultural and other anthropogenic activities, quality indices in the study area indicate the absence of anthropogenic inputs.
Key words: Major ions, heavy metals, rocks weathering, soil leaching, water quality assessment.
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