The Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Atakpo River, Niger Delta, Nigeria
The physical and chemical characteristics of Atakpo River, Niger Delta, Nigeria were investigated for six months from March to August 2011. Three designated stations were chosen along the river course corresponding to areas where various human activities are carried out. Water samples were collected monthly from the three stations. The range of some of the physic-chemical parameters analyzed were: air temperature (26.0 – 30.5oC), water temperature (26.0 – 29.5 oC), conductivity (8.5 – 19.04 s/cm), turbidity (1.1 – 2.41 NTU), dissolved oxygen (2.8 – 6.5 mg/l), biochemical oxygen demand (1.0 -2.4 mg/l), pH (5.92 – 6.02) and chloride (2.0 -5.44 mg/l). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that there were significant differences in air temperature, water temperature, conductivity, DO, total alkalinity, phosphate, total dissolved solids, total suspended solids and chloride (p<0.05) between the stations and months sampled. Sulphate showed no significant difference (p>0.05) between the stations, but showed statistical significance between the months (p<0.05). pH, chloride, DO, BOD and total alkalinity values show that the river is fast deteriorating which could be attributed to fermentation of cassava and other anthropogenic activities going on in the river. In view of this, urgent measures need to be taken to ameliorate the fast deteriorating nature of the river.
Key Words: Pollution, human activities, water quality, Atakpo River, Niger Delta