keywords: Benin-Ethiope, fluvial system, Oghara, petroleum products, spillages
Activities of petroleum industries downstream sector companies in and around Oghara town results in continuous spillages of petroleum products and lubricating base oil in the water of the Benin-Ethiope Fluvial System in the vicinity. The study therefore examined the effect of these spillages on the quality of water of the fluvial system in this area. Water samples were collected from the fluvial system around Oghara town twice every season for two wet and two dry seasons. The physicochemical parameters of water were determined by standard methods, heavy metals were determined by method of flame atomic absorption spectrometry after digestion of water sample with pre-concentration by heating and evaporation. The results obtained were, pH (5.48±0.39), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) (2.2±1.2 mgL-1), chemical oxygen demand (COD) (61±22 mgL-1), oil and grease (O&G) (1.87±0.79 mgL-1), total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) (1.42±0.66 mgL-1), Ni (0.08±0.08 mgL-1) and Cd (0.01±0.01 mgL-1). The concentrations of most pollutant parameters were higher in the study area water than in the control area water (BOD [7.3±3.4 mgL-1], COD [42±28 mgL-1], O&G [0.65±0.50 mgL-1], TPH [0.50±0.38 mgL-1],Ni [0.01±0.01 mgL-1], Cd [0.004±0.004 mgL-1]) . The average pH value was lower than control area water (5.48±0.39) and also lower than guideline range for pH. The average Ni value of water exceeded guideline values. The results of these two parameters (pH and Ni) showed that the water was not fit for drinking. Classification of water of the five sampling stations of the study area gave them pollution status of either “slightly polluted” or “polluted.” The quality of study area water was therefore found to be very low and need to be thoroughly treated before it can be used for drinking and other domestic uses.
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