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Water quality analysis of groundwater in crystalline basement rocks, Northern Ghana

Environmental Geology

By:
, , , and
DOI: 10.1007/s00254-008-1578-4

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Abstract

Hydrochemical data are presented for groundwater samples, collected from fractured aquifers in parts of northern Ghana. The data was collected to assess the groundwater suitability for domestic and agricultural use. Results of the study reveal that the pH of the groundwater in the area is slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. The electrical conductivity values, total dissolved solids (TDS) values and calcium, magnesium and sodium concentrations in the groundwater are generally below the limit set by the WHO for potable water supply. On the basis of activity diagrams, groundwater from the fractured aquifers appears to be stable within the montmorillonite field, suggesting weathering of silicate minerals. An inverse distance weighting interpolator with a power of 2 was applied to the data points to produce prediction maps for nitrate and fluoride. The distribution maps show the presence of high nitrate concentrations (50-194??mg/l) in some of the boreholes in the western part of the study area indicating anthropogenic impact on the groundwater. Elevated fluoride level (1.5-4??mg/l), higher than the WHO allowable fluoride concentration of 1.5, is recorded in the groundwater underlying the northeastern part of the study area, more specifically Bongo and its surrounding communities of the Upper East region. Results of this study suggest that groundwater from the fractured aquifers in the area exhibit low sodicity-low salinity (S1-C1), low sodicity-medium salinity (S1-C2) characteristics [United States Salinity Laboratory (USSL) classification scheme]. All data points from this study plot within the 'Excellent to good' category on a Wilcox diagram. Groundwater in this area thus appears to provide irrigation water of excellent quality. The hydrochemical results indicate that, although nitrate and fluoride concentrations in some boreholes are high, the groundwater in the study area, based on the parameters analyzed, is chemically potable and suitable for domestic and agricultural purposes. ?? Springer-Verlag 2008.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Water quality analysis of groundwater in crystalline basement rocks, Northern Ghana
Series title:
Environmental Geology
DOI:
10.1007/s00254-008-1578-4
Volume
58
Issue:
5
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Geology
First page:
989
Last page:
997