American Journal of Environmental Sciences

GOLD MINING IN IGUN-IJESHA, SOUTHWEST NIGERIA: IMPACTS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR WATER QUALITY

O. O. Ayantobo, J. A. Awomeso, G. O. Oluwasanya, B. S. Bada and A. M. Taiwo

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2014.289.300

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 10, Issue 3

Pages 289-300

Abstract

This study was carried out in Igun-Ijesha, Osun State, Nigeria to determine the likely hotspots of water contamination for future treatment trials. Water quality analyses were based on physico-chemical and heavy metal parameters of surface and ground water collected from the study community. A total of thirty-eight water samples were collected between September 2012 and February 2013 and analyzed using standard procedures. Concentrations of heavy metals were determined using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Results showed that water samples within the gold mining community are contaminated and the hydrochemistry varied with seasons. The values of magnesium, turbidity, total dissolved solids, electrical conductivity and pH during the period of sampling ranged 3.1-42.1 mg/L, 0-150 NTU, 30-560 mg/L, 80-1192 µS/cm and 5.95-8.55 respectively. Chloride, nitrate, phosphate, sulphate and sodium data were within the stipulated limits set by the Nigerian Standards for Drinking Water Quality (NSDWQ). Heavy metal contents of the groundwater were generally higher than those from surface water sampled within the mining district. The values of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, manganese, nickel and zinc, ranged from 0.01-1.20, 0.05-0.52, 0.80-34.80, 0.09-4.30, 0.09-8.30, 0.05-3.94, 0.05-19.6 and 1.80-29.90 mg/L respectively. Most of the listed metals have values exceeding the international and national recommended limits. The daily intake of water in the study area poses a potential health threat from long-term exposure to heavy-metals. The study suggests that water safety plans should be developed to safeguard water resource and public health within the mining community.

Copyright

© 2014 O. O. Ayantobo, J. A. Awomeso, G. O. Oluwasanya, B. S. Bada and A. M. Taiwo. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.