The study investigated the impact of pollution on surface water bodies in Ilaje area of Ondo state. Water-ways in four communities, namely, Araromi, Ayetoro, Igbokoda and Ugbonla located within Ilaje were selected for the study with the specific aim of establishing information on the metal contamination characteristics of the water bodies. Water samples were collected along the waterways from three sampling points per location, that is, 100, 200, and 300 m distance into the waterways and in three replicates. The samples were collected with different plastic bottles to make a total of nine samples per location and 36 samples in all locations. The samplings were carried out at three different times of the year: November, 2011 and January and March, 2012, to make a total of 108 samples in all. Water samples were analyzed in the laboratory using the Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) for concentration of some metal pollutants. Physico-chemical parameters such as pH, chloride (Cl-), sulphate (SO42-), phosphate (PO4) and total hardness (TH) were determined in water samples using titration method. Results showed that the qualities of the water samples were adversely affected and impaired by the wastewater effluent discharged by the nearby oil companies and human wastes. The concentrations of most pollutants parameters of the sampled waters were significantly higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) regulatory limits. The mean pH value of the water samples ranged from 3.60(±1.11) and 6.15(±0.20) in all samples collected. TH value for the first, second, and third sampling times range from 266.95(±21.09) to 324.29(±47.48), 267.01(±3.20) to 365.00(±11.49), and 278.18(±21.82) to 326.44(±32.01) mg/L, respectively. The mean concentrations of metals were of the order Fe > Pb > Ni > Co > Cd. The high lead concentration in water ways could overtime adversely affect aquatic lives, which could negatively impact on the economy of the fishing community.
Keywords: Water, waste, pollution, metal concentration, environment, Ilaje.