, Volume 160, Issue 1-4, pp 521-539
Date: 21 Feb 2009

Assessment of dry season surface, ground, and treated water quality in the Cape Coast municipality of Ghana

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Abstract

This aim of this monitoring was to assess water quality in a dry season for the Cape Coast municipality in Ghana, which has been experiencing chronic water shortages. Fifteen different sampling stations—four surface, five ground, and six tap water samples—were analyzed for physicochemical and microbiological parameters during January to April 2005. Levels or trends in water quality that may be deleterious to sensitive water uses, including drinking, irrigation, and livestock watering have been noted with reference to well-established guidelines. Exceedances to some health-based drinking water guidelines included positive coliform for various water samples; pH for all groundwater samples (pH 5.9 ± 0.3); conductivity for 50% groundwater; color for about a third of groundwater and tap water; Mn for 44% tap water, 67% groundwater, and 50% surface water samples. The World Health Organization laundry staining Fe guideline of 0.3 mg/l was exceeded by 75% of surface water, 44% tap water, and 53% groundwater samples. The corresponding Mn guideline of 0.1 mg/l was exceeded by all the water samples. Respectively, all surface water samples and also 75% of the surface water exceeded some known Cu and Zn guideline for the protection of aquatic life. Compared to some historic data for Fosu Lagoon, the current study shows a lowering of ~1 pH unit, increase of ~65% \(\text{NH}_{3}\) , one to two orders of magnitude increase in PO \(_{4}^{{3}^{-}}\) , and more than two orders of magnitude increase in NO \(_{3}^{-}\) . In several instances, tap water samples collected at the consumers’ end of the distribution system did not reflect on the true quality of the treated water. Mn, SO \(_{4}^{{2}^{-}}\) , PO \(_{4}^{{3}^{-}}\) , Cu, and Zn were among the chemical contaminations observed to occur in the distribution system.