Quality Characteristics of Underground Water Resources in Nkanu East and Nkanu West Local Government Areas of Enugu State, Nigeria
Physicochemical and bacteriological analyses of underground water resources in Nkanu East and Nkanu West Local Government Areas of Enugu state, Nigeria were carried out to evaluate the potability and quality of the rural water supplies and to provide baseline data for future quality assessment. Underground water samples were collected from ten different boreholes in Nkanu East and Nkanu West LGAs. The parameters measured include temperature, colour, pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, total dissolved solids, total hardness, calcium hardness, magnesium hardness, total alkalinity, chloride, sulphate, phosphate, nitrate, sodium, potassium, lead, chromium, copper, cadmium, nickel, iron, zinc and total coliform. The water showed near neutral pH (6.4- 8.2) favourably comparable to the WHO recommended range of 6.5-8.5, with moderate permanent hardness of 2.5-289 mg/L. Conductivity and total dissolved solids values for Amechi Idodo (4360 μs/cm, 2650 mg/L) and Mbulu Owo (4880 μs/cm, 2930 mg/L) were higher than the WHO guideline values of 1660 μs/cm and 1000 mg/L, respectively. Concentrations of most trace metals and all anions were below the WHO guideline values. However, iron,cadmium and chromium occurred at levels slightly above the WHO permissible limit. Total coliform count in Amechi Idodo and Mbulu Owo exceeded the WHO guideline value of zero. The underground waters studied are good for drinking provided they are boiled to remove microbial contamination.