International Journal of
Physical Sciences

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Phys. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-1950
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPS
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2570

Full Length Research Paper

Geophysical investigation of the effects of sewage in the soil at university of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria

Awalla, C. O. C.
  • Awalla, C. O. C.
  • Department of Geology and Mining, Faculty of Applied Natural Sciences, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 11 November 2013
  •  Accepted: 21 March 2014
  •  Published: 31 March 2014


Geophysical investigation was carried out to detect the spread of sewage effluent and to locate the sources and delineate migration paths and the extent of leachate plume. The study was to find out the geological formations that are the most conductive layers in the sewage site for the free flow of the contaminants. Soil tests showed that hydraulic conductivity, bulk density and water retention were variable in sewage soil, but consistent in soil unaffected by sewage. In sewage soil, maize crops performance, organic matter, total nitrogen exchangeability,  cations  exchange capacity and sodium were significantly enhanced than in non-sewage soil. In sewage soil, electrical conductivity (EC), zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), copper (Cu), Cadmium (Cd), salt concentration and other saline properties, total faecal coliform and microbial activities were high. Twelve vertical electrical soundings (VES) points with Omega Terrameter were used in the Schlumberger Array configuration which the geoelectrical section from the resistivity data revealed seven subsurface layers. Three low resistivity zones were detected as correspondent zones to the plumes. The comparative evaluation of the 3-D stack model of the resistivity of layers with respect to depth suggested that these three low resistivity layers were contaminated, especially as the depth to water table is more than 100m. The flow direction of the contaminant plume is northwest to southwest as indicated by stack model of the low resistivity layers. Generally, the contaminant plume is a threat to ecosystem and a great health problem to people living around the sewage site.


Key words:   Delineate, contamination, leachate, sewage effluent, saline, ecosystem.