Anthropogenic impacts on the water quality of Aba River, southeast Nigeria
A stretch of Aba River, southeast Nigeria was studied in four stations from November 2014 to August 2015 to identify the major anthropogenic activities and their impact on the water quality. A number of major anthropogenic activities were identified; some were regular and persistent such as washing of clothes, rugs/carpets and cars as well as effluents and wastes from abattoir. Dredging was observed as a one-time anthropogenic activity during this study with its associated impacts. The identified anthropogenic and other salient activities in the watershed have individually and cumulatively impacted on the water quality of Aba River. Some of the water quality parameters had elevated values but the most affected were turbidity (6.8 – 321NTU/FEPA, 10NTU), phosphate (2.3 – 79.8mg/l/FEPA, 5mg/l) and nitrate (7.4 – 79.8mg/l/FEPA, 20mg/l). These observed impacts on the water quality have directly or indirectly affected the ecological, domestic and other uses of the river. Many residents cannot use the water for drinking, cooking, industrial or aquaculture purposes.
Keywords: Physico-chemical parameters, Watershed, Cumulative impact