Physicochemical parameters, levels of Cu and Pb in water and water lily plant from the Bank of River Benue
In this study three (3) water samples were collected from the River Benue Basin, within the catchment of the Benue State Works. The water samples were collected at different points within this region alongside water Lilly plants at the same points in the study area. This research was aimed at assessing the physicochemical properties and heavy metals (Cu and Pb) content in water and water lily plant around Benue Water Works in Makurdi. The physicochemical parameters of the water samples as well as determination of Cu and Pb in the water samples, and water lily plant was done using standard methods. Results were compared to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines to assess suitability. The results of the physicochemical parameters were either below or within the accepted limit except for colour (179 - 220 mg/units) and electrical conductivity (919 – 1760 μS/cm) which were above the WHO recommended limits of 15 TCU and 1000 μS/cm respectively. Trace metal contamination was exceedingly above WHO recommended level of 0.01 mg/L for Pb in water. Similarly, Pb concentration (48.5 – 53.6 mg/kg) in the plant samples was above the WHO/FAO recommended value of 5 mg/kg indicating pollution. It was concluded that the water is not completely safe for drinking and with the high level of Pb both in the water and plant samples, the water poses environmental health risk to inhabitants and the society in general.
Keywords: Heavy metals, Physicochemical parameters, Water quality, WHO/FAO guidelines