Environmental Earth Sciences

, 77:789 | Cite as

Assessment and characterization of the basement aquifer at Idu–Karmo, area of FCT-Abuja, Nigeria, for drinking and irrigation

  • C. G. AlekeEmail author
  • C. M. Nwachukwu
Original Article


Idu–Karmo of the federal capital territory, Abuja, is located within the weathered basement aquifers of Northern Nigeria. Fifteen groundwater samples obtained were analysed for their major ionic components. The physical properties show that the water is slightly acidic to neutral (6.0–7.0) and has moderate to very high values of electrical conductivity (155–2230 µS/cm).The dominant hydrochemical facies of groundwater is the Ca–Cl2 groundwater type. Irrigation parameters measured include: SAR which ranges from 0.12 to 1.06; TH which ranges from 0.8 to 196; KR ranges from 0.03 to 0.42; PI which ranges from 46 to 199; and RSC ranges from − 131.90 to 3.43. These parameters (SAR, total hardness, Kelly’s ratio, permeability index and residual sodium carbonate) show that the water is suitable for agricultural purpose except for the magnesium ratio which has a high unsuitability for irrigation, probably due to the presence of ferro-magnesian minerals contained in the calc-alkaline basement rocks of the Idu–Karmo area. The results of the geochemical survey reveal major ionic components are in the order Cl > HCO3 > NO3 > SO42− and Mg2+ > Ca2+ > Na+ > K+. Comparison with WHO and APHA standards shows that all the ionic concentrations satisfy all permissible limits for drinking purpose except for elevated concentrations of nitrate which probably may have arisen from poor handling of domestic wastes, leakages from nearby septic tanks/soak-away and the excessive use of fertilisers. Qualitatively, treatment is required especially on the nitrate-contaminated areas to make the water fit for drinking and irrigation.


Groundwater quality Hydrochemistry Irrigation SAR Aquifer Fractured Regolith Basement 



The authors gratefully appreciate the anonymous reviewers that brought this work to its wonderful state. However, the kind efforts of Mr. Chinemelu Ndichie of the department of Geography, University of Nigeria, Nsukka for the map work; Miss Nonyelum Stella Iloanya, Mr Nwosu Ikechukwu and Katrina Ali-(the field crew and course mates in the department of Geology, UNN) are appreciated. Also appreciated are Prof. S. O. Onwuka, Head of Department of Geology, UNN and Dr. Mohammed Dan-Hassan of the Federal Water Board, Abuja, for their suggestions that improved the quality of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria
  2. 2.Geological Services DepartmentNational Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency (NSRMEA)KadunaNigeria
  3. 3.Department of GeologyGregory University UturuUturuNigeria

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