Publisher: Nigerian Society For Microbiology

Comparative Assessment of The Impact of Oil Production On Surface and Ground Water Qualities In Egbema, Sives State, Nigeria

Nwaugo, V. O., Ugwuorah, A. U., Onyeagba, R. A., Okoroigwe, D. S.
KEYWORDS: Water supply, metallic ions, seasons, microorganism, quality


A comparative study of the qualities of surface (Nkissa River) and ground (borehole) water was carried out in Egbema, an oil-producing area of Rivers State, Nigeria. Analysis of the physiochemical properties showed higher concentrations of PO4, SO4, and NO3 in the producing area of Ebocha compared to Okwuzi (3-4km away) and Ekpe Aggah (control). Similarly, TDS, TSS, hardness and conductivity followed the same trend. Metallic ions concentration were also observed to be higher at Ebocha than Okwuzi with metals used in welding and construction being the most implicated – Al, Fe, Zn and Pb (P = 0.05). Statistical analysis showed significant influence of distance on the parameters (P = 0.05). Similarly, seasonal influence was significant in the level of water contamination. Surface water (Nkissa River) become more acidic with the early rains as caused by the wash down of accumulated acidic oxides in the air following gas flaring nutrients at Ebocha, while the persistent rains of the mid rainy season affected the ground water adversely by raising its table to meet the pollutants near the surface. Microbiological analysis showed high total heterotrophic bacterial counts in the surface water while most ground water samples were devoid of fungi. Higher bacterial counts including total coliforms were observed during the mid rainy season, which was attributed to runoffs and increased water table. This calls for proper treatment of water from such sources, if it must be used for domestic purposes while efforts will be made to stop or reduce gas flaring to reduce the effects of oil production on water quality in the area.

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