Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Nitrate Pollution in Groundwater of Abuja, Nigeria

M. A. Dan-Hassan, P. I. Olasehinde, A. N. Amadi, J. Yisa, J. O. Jacob

Abstract


Groundwater has been recognized as playing a very important role in the development of Abuja, Nigeria’s Capital as many households, private and government establishments depends solely on hand-dug wells and boreholes for their daily water needs. Exploitation of groundwater is rather delicate because of its potency to contamination and difficulty to remediate when compared to surface water. The purpose of this paper is to present the occurrence of nitrate in groundwater of Abuja and discuss the implication and sources of the nitrate. High nitrate level in drinking water leads to infant methaemoglobinaemia (blue-baby syndrome), gastric cancer, metabolic disorder and livestock poisoning. A simplified map of nitrate occurrences in Abuja indicates that some areas have nitrate concentration above the WHO and NSDWQ guide limit of 50 mg/l and it is dominant in the rainy season than dry season. The number of people drinking water with nitrate concentration above the permissible level cannot be quantified presently. The sources of nitrate in the groundwater were attributed to bedrock dissolution in the course of groundwater migration and more importantly anthropogenic activities such as on-site sanitation, waste dumpsites and agricultural chemicals. Water treatment by bio-denitrification and nitrate pollution control programs should be introduced at local, state and federal levels in order to educate people on the need to protect groundwater from nitrate pollution caused by agricultural activity and indiscriminate disposal of wastes.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/ijc.v4n3p104

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International Journal of Chemistry   ISSN 1916-9698 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9701 (Online)

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