Impact of Anthropogenic Activities on the Quality of Shallow Groundwater of the Chad Basin in Maiduguri, Nigeria (Published)
This study examined the effects of anthropogenic activities on the quality of shallow groundwater of the Chad Basin in Maiduguri, Nigeria by analyzing samples from 46 boreholes with a range of 40 m – 115 m, and an average depth of 60.54 m. The result of the analysis showed groundwater to be polluted in many boreholes. The pollution results from increased anthropogenic activities such as waste disposal, pit latrines and agricultural activities. About 22% of the sampled boreholes complied with the separation distances stipulated by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency leaving a whopping 78% in contravention of the minimum separation distance. Major point pollution sources identified include soakaways, pit latrines, solid and liquid wastes, plant and animal waste products and mechanical workshops. Turbidity, total dissolved solids (TDS), Fe, Cr, Cu, Mn and PO4 are physicochemical parameters found to have exceeded the standard set by the Nigerian Standard for Drinking Water Quality. Seven wells had exceeded turbidity and TDS standards, 11 and 34 wells had exceeded the standards for Fe, Mn and PO4, and Cr and Cu respectively. Densely populated parts of the city have high TDS and turbidity values. To improve groundwater quality in the study area, the paper suggests enforcement of the minimum standard spacing for boreholes and pit latrines. Also, it suggests environmental education that will make the public to be aware of the necessity of ensuring environmental health which will ensure quality of groundwater and proper disposal of solid wastes.