Irrigation Water Quality Assessment of Industrial Effluents Used for Irrigating Crops in Semi-arid Ecological Zone of Nigeria (Published)
Provision of quality treated wastewater effluents in form of irrigation water will potentially be an option to augment the water needs in agricultural irrigation. However, if the effluents did not meet the irrigation quality standards, their application will be detrimental to the receiving soils, consequently leading to soil and crop quality deterioration. The aim of this study is to assess if Sharada industrial effluents are fit for irrigation application. The irrigation water quality assessment was carried out in three phases (Phases I, II and III) of the industrial locations. Findings indicated that the concentration of the major key irrigation water quality parameters; Electrical conductivity (EC), pH, Exchangeable sodium (Na), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) and Total dissolved solids (TDS) were of good quality and suitable for irrigation regardless of phases. However, the concentration of bicarbonate (HCO3), Chlorides (Cl), Potassium (K) and Nitrate (NO3-N) values detected in the samples were 488, 305, 305meq/l, 177.50, 159.75, 124.25meq/l, 18.99, 17.72, 13.50mg/l, and 119.09, 59.54, 31.53mg/l respectively. These values were high and of poor quality, thus, unfit for irrigation. Moreover, NO3-N and HCO3 in all irrigation effluents recorded high significant difference (P<0.05) in phase I compared to other phases while, Cl and K were highly significant (P<0.05) in phases I and II in comparison to phase III. Overall, the result when tested for irrigation quality compliance using International Standards revealed that compliance was achieved with reference to pH, EC, Na, Ca, Mg and TDS, while noncompliance was recorded for other irrigation water quality indices indicating that the effluents will be suitable for irrigation under careful, adequate and very effective proper management including improved irrigation system and schedule, soil with good permeability, infiltration and internal drainage, and use of good salt tolerant crops. The importance of this research lies in the fact that the effluents could not be a reliable and effective potential source of irrigation water rich in nutrients capable of increasing soil fertility and crop quality as is the practice of the farmers in the area.
Water samples were collected from seven different locations along the Aba River close to various human, industrial, commercial and domestic activities. The heavy metals were analyzed using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS). The result revealed that the concentration of some heavy metals like Iron, Copper, Manganese and Chromium are above the WHO and FMEnv Standard limits for surface water. These high values could be attributed to indiscriminate disposal of wastes into the river. The various parameters of the water samples from the control site (Okpu-Umuobu) were significantly different from those of locations close to the major industrial/commercial activities. This confirms the impact of human activities on the quality of the Aba River. The impacts of dredging and sand mining in and along the river bank were obvious. These activities have an adverse effect on the environment and ecology, speeding up flow and potentially increasing the risk of flooding downstream. This also has the potential to damage ecology by directly affecting its physical habitat, disrupting riverine processes and reduced connectivity with the floodplain. It is therefore recommended that effluent treatment plants be installed to treat waste generated before they are discharged into the stream as well as regular monitoring of the River should be encouraged by the regulatory bodies.