Journal of
Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences

  • Abbreviation: J. Toxicol. Environ. Health Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9820
  • DOI: 10.5897/JTEHS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 217

Article in Press

Physicochemical Characteristics, Heavy Metal Concentration, and Microbial Contamination in Key Water Sources within the Benue South Senatorial District, Nigeria

Inalegwu Bawa1 , Ayodeji Oluwafemi Idowu1,2 Samuel A.. Agada 1, Valentine Ogwuche1, Matthew O. Itodo1, Anthony O. Ejila,1 Agnes E. Abba1, Daniel E. Uti1

  •  Received: 26 January 2024
  •  Accepted: 18 April 2024
Access to clean and safe water is crucial for human health and well-being. This study aimed to assess the physicochemical characteristics, heavy metal concentration, and microbial contamination in key water sources within the Benue South Senatorial District, Nigeria. A total of 9 water samples were collected from three river sources including Ohimini, Okpokwu, and Ofumenyi rivers across different locations within the senatorial district. The physicochemical parameters analyzed included pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), turbidity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen (DO). Additionally, heavy metal concentrations, including lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), and mercury (Hg), were determined using atomic absorption spectrometry. Microbial contamination was assessed by culture, and the antibiotic susceptibility method. The results revealed considerable variations in the physicochemical characteristics among the water sources. The pH values ranged from acidic to slightly alkaline, while EC, TDS, and turbidity levels varied widely, indicating differences in water quality across the studied sites. Dissolved oxygen levels were generally within acceptable limits, indicating adequate aeration in the water sources. However, some samples exhibited elevated levels of heavy metal contamination, particularly lead, which exceeded the recommended guidelines for drinking water. This poses a significant health risk to the communities relying on these water sources. Microbial analysis reveals widespread water sources contamination with coliforms and Escherichia cole (E. coli), posing waterborne diseases risk, highlighting the need for improved treatment and sanitation practices in Benue South Senatorial District.

Keywords: Ohimini; Okpokwu; Ofumenyi; Physico-chemical properties; Heavy metal composition; Bacteriological analysis