1.1 Background of the Study
Water is essential for life. Man needs water for various other purposes apart from drinking and body functions.
The other purposes includes its use in transportation, waste disposal and hydro electric system. About 80% of the earth’s surface is covered by water. This may be grouped into natural and artificial water. Natural water includes atmospheric water (rainfall, hail and snow), surface water includes (stream, lakes, rivers, ocean) and ground water (spring well, underground stream). Artificial water on the other hand includes ponds. Surface water can be contaminated by some impurities like dust, smoke or gases etc from the atmosphere.
Anthropogenic activities ad dumping of waste on the river bank also results to the contamination of surface water quality, water may of these microorganisms when present in large quantities and for prolonged period of time can cause health problem (Onyeagba and Isu, 2003, Shelton, 2003: WHO, 2004). There is a strong relationship existing between water, health and diseases causation (Ajewole, 2005). Water is a very essential element of human nature, yet a very dangerous element in the spread of diseases.
A recent study of water related and water borne diseases are in one way or the other caused by surface water (Medema et al 2003). Water that is free of disease producing microorganism and chemical substance that is dangerous to health is referred to as potable water. The two categories of the sources of surface water pollution based on their origin are point and nonpoint sources. The contaminants that enter a waterway through discrete conveyance, such as pipe or ditch are called point source pollution. The non point pollution is the diffused contamination that does not originate from a single discrete source. The cumulative effect of small amount of contaminants gathered from a large area is as a result of nonpoint source pollution (USGS, 1998: EPA 2005)
The contamination of water has been associated with sewage and sewage effluent. It has been generally accepted that surface water contains more harmful micro-organisms compared to other source, of water including ground water and rainfall water (Oyebode: 2005). Consequently, high degree of sewage dumps, practices with domestic waste water may be sources of bacteria and other organisms capable of producing diseases in man and animals including livestock. Other source includes livestock manure and waste water from municipals, schools, feedlots and swamps.
Consequently, the number of cases of water borne diseases has been seen to be the cause of many health hazards. The demand and pollution of level of water requires the basic monitoring on the quality (WHO, 2004: EPA 2002) Hence there is need to ascertain the physical, chemical and biological quality of this river to ascertain whether it is safe for human consumption.
1.2 Objectives of the Study
The aim of this project is to determine the effect of anthropogenic activities and domestic waste on Ekulu river water quality.
Specifically the objectives of this project are:- i. To collect water samples from different parts of Ekulu River and take to the lab for analysis. ii. To analysis the lab results with a view to ascertaining the physical, chemical and biological properties of the water. iii. To recommend amendments for the water considering the various potential uses of Ekulu River in Enugu North of Enugu State. iv. To subjectively evaluate the extent of domestic waste deposits in the river.
1.3 Justification of the study
Not minding the anthropogenic activities and domestic waste dumping at Ekulu River, it is still a good source of water for agricultural and domestic activities.
Ekulu River is a neat source of water but water may not be adjudged potable by appearance or taste and that is why the analysis of this water is essential.