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: 1047

Full Length Research Paper

Groundwater resources for domestic and irrigation purposes in Melong (Littoral Region, Cameroon): Hydrogeochemical constraints

Alice Magha Mufur
  • Alice Magha Mufur
  • Department of Geology, Higher Teacher Training College, University of Bamenda, P. O. Box 39 Bambili, Cameroon.
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Margaret Tita Awah
  • Margaret Tita Awah
  • Department of Biology, Higher Teacher Training College, University of Bamenda, P. O. Box 39 Bambili, Cameroon.
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Primus Azinwi Tamfuh
  • Primus Azinwi Tamfuh
  • Departmentof Soil Science, Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, University of Dschang, P. O. Box 222, Dschang, Cameroon.
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Magdaline Asaba Agendia
  • Magdaline Asaba Agendia
  • Department of Geology, Higher Teacher Training College, University of Bamenda, P. O. Box 39 Bambili, Cameroon.
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Aloysius Afanwie Ngambu
  • Aloysius Afanwie Ngambu
  • Department of Geology, Mining and Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, University of Bamenda, P. O. Box 39, Bambili, Cameroon.
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Veronique Kamgang Kabeyene
  • Veronique Kamgang Kabeyene
  • Department of Earth Sciences, Higher Teacher Training College, Bertoua, University of Ngaoundéré, Cameroon.
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  •  Received: 29 May 2021
  •  Accepted: 19 July 2021
  •  Published: 31 July 2021

Abstract

Groundwater is a valuable natural resource whose quality is threatened by natural and man-made pollutants. This study aims to perform a hydrochemical characterization of groundwater resources used for domestic and irrigational activities in Melong (Littoral Cameroon). Thus, 26 subsurface water samples were collected in the dry season (six sampling points) and rainy season (seven sampling points) of the years 2019 and 2020. Physical water quality parameters were measured on the field while ionic constituents and bacteriological parameters were determined in the laboratory. The main findings revealed that the pH of the water samples was slightly acidic to neutral, fluctuating from 5.3 to 7.1; electrical conductivity ranged from 0.03 to 0.33 µS/cm and turbidity varied from 0.5 to 33.7 NTU revealing that the water is weakly mineralized. The ionic constituents were such that Ca2+ > K+ > Mg2+ > Na+ for cationic constituents while anions appeared as HCO3-> NO3- >Cl- > PO43-. The major ions fell within the acceptable limits of World Health Organisation (WHO) drinking water standards. Bacteria indicators of faecal pollution were identified in all the water samples, including Enterobacteria, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus, Salmonella, Shigella, Staphylococcus and Vibrio. This indicates an exposure of water sources to unhygienic conditions that may place consumers at risk of water-borne diseases, hence necessitating basic treatment of the water before consumption.

 

Key words: Hydrochemistry, Melong, groundwater quality, bacteriological analysis, Littoral Cameroon.