Evaluation of pollution status of heavy metals in the groundwater system around open dumpsites in Abakaliki urban, Southeastern Nigeria
The occurrence of various heavy metals such as iron (Fe), nickel (Ni), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), manganese (Mn), lead (pb) and arsenic (As) as major contaminants in the Abakaliki dumpsites has been established in this research. Four dumpsites namely the Waterworks, the New layout, the Rice mill and the Iyiokwu, all within the Abakaliki metropolis, were used for this research. Water samples (from bore holes, hand-dug wells, ponds and streams) were collected around these dumpsites and analyzed to ascertain the level of pollution. The atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) was used for the determination of the concentration of heavy metals. Results show that the water works road dumpsite is a major source of contamination to the ground water system and should be relocated to a safer site. While dumping activities within the New layout dumpsite should be continued due to absence or low concentration of these metals in the groundwater system, it is recommended that resistivity methods of geophysical survey be carried out on the Iyiokwu and Rice mill dumpsites to ascertain the viability of the subsurface geologic layers to combat infiltration.
Key words: Pollution, heavy metals, groundwater, dumpsites, Abakaliki, Nigeria.