Evaluating the Nitrate to Phosphate Ratio and Other Physicochemical Characteristics of Different Water Sources in Yeghe Community, Rivers State, Nigeria
Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology,
Water quality determination has become essential in characterising the nature of water used by humans for various purposes. This study was therefore carried out to assess the nitrate to phosphate ratio and other physical and chemical parameters influencing the quality of water used for domestic purposes in Yeghe Community, Rivers State, Nigeria. Water samples (from 3 boreholes, 3 river points and 3 wells) were collected randomly for each study period, and subjected to standard laboratory procedures to analyse for parameters such as temperature, pH, nitrate nitrogen, phosphate, total dissolved solid (TDS), dissolved oxygen (DO) and electrical conductivity, using standard procedures. Nutrient limitation in the water sources was evaluated based on critical ratios produced by Redfield, using nitrate and phosphate as limiting nutrients. The nitrate to phosphate ratios indicated that there were more of phosphate limitations in the samples, as only two of the samples showed nitrate limitation, with the well water samples showing no nitrate limitation. The study also showed that all the physico-chemical parameters were within the WHO limits, except for pH that had values below the regulatory standard. Statistical evaluation of the data showed a significant difference (p < 0.05) between the physicochemical parameters of the different water sources (river, tap and well), except for temperature that recorded no significant difference (p > 0.05). This novel study on physicochemical water quality determinants has provided baseline and reference data set for monitoring the pollution status of the different water sources of this rural community. Local health authorities should however regulate anthropogenic activities around these water sources to ensure the availability of safe for use water sources in this locality.