Nitrate pollution of Neogene alluvium aquifer in Morogoro municipality, Tanzania

  • I Kibona
  • SL Mkoma
  • IC Mjemah


Concern over nitrate pollution of groundwater in integrated water quality management has been growing recently. The levels of nitrate in wells from septic tanks and urban agriculture with nitrogen fertilizers application may increase the potential groundwater pollution by nitrate. The purpose of this study was to determine the concentrations and spatial distribution of nitrate (NO3 -) in groundwater in Morogoro municipality. Groundwater samples were collected from 20 wells during wet season period in March-April 2010 in 6 wards namely Kihonda, Mji Mpya, Mafisa, Saba Saba, Boma and Kilakala. The spectrophotometer was used to measure the NO3 - concentration in water samples. The minimum and maximum nitrate levels were 1.4 and 32.5 mg/L respectively in the wards studied with an average of 7.76 mg/L. These results showed that all of the groundwater samples have NO3 - concentration below the Tanzania Bureau of Standards upper limit value and World Health Organization guideline of 75 mg/l and 50 mg/l respectively. Also, the level of nitrate concentration tends to decrease with depth for most of the places due to the anoxic condition that is available at the higher depth which facilitates the utilization of nitrate by anaerobic microorganisms.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1997-342X
print ISSN: 1991-8631