Assessment of Nutrients Levels in Groundwater within the Lower Pra Basin of Ghana

  • M. K. Dorleku CSIR-Water Research Institute, P.O Box AH 38 Achimota
  • A. O. Affum National Nuclear Research Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, P.O Box LG 80, Legon
  • C. K. Tay CSIR-Water Research Institute, P.O Box AH 38 Achimota
  • D. Nukpezah Institute of Environmental Studies and Sanitation, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra
Keywords: Groundwater, Nutrients, Fertilizer application, Agrochemicals, Biogeological processes


The level of concentration of nitrates, phosphates, and sulphates was determined in groundwater within the Pra Basin to ascertain the degree of anthropogenic influence via the application of fertilizer and other agro-chemical to farmlands by farmers. Sixty-five (65) boreholes in forty-five (45) communities were analysed between January and April 2012 to cover the dry season and between June and October 2012 to cover the wet season. The results show that nitrate for both seasons range between 0.011 mg/l and 5.01 mg/l and therefore within the WHO (2006) guideline value of 10 mg/l, whilst that of phosphate range between 0.01 mg/l and 3.08 mg/l and therefore outside the USEPA guideline value of 2.5 mg/l. Sulphate recorded a range between 1.60 and 96.2 mg/l and therefore within the WHO (2006) guideline value of 250 mg/l. The concentration levels of the two nutrients of the parameters, nitrates and phosphate were correlated against borehole depth and the results show a weak positive and negative correlation for nitrate and phosphate respectively. There was thus, an indication that the levels of all parameters, nitrate, phosphate and sulphate are not yet a threat to groundwater in the basin.


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eISSN: 0855-1448