Effects Of Solid Wastes On The Quality Of Underground Water
This research paper examines the effects of solid wastes, quality and its control on groundwater pollution in Ikirun (Maboreje and Okeafo areas) Osun state Nigeria. The study was born out of unregulated manner in which both domestic and industrial wastes are deposited on the streets, river courses, buried, burnt and discarded in refuse heaps. Solid waste commonly generated in Ikirun includes papers and polyethene, tin and metals, ashes and dust, texture and rags, aluminium and other minerals. The analysis of physical, chemical and biological of raw water at ten different locations in Ikirun close to dump areas shows these wastes produce leachates and gases when they are decomposed and are washed by percolating and infiltrating rain water into the groundwater. However, most of the water parameters tested fall within World Health Organisation (W.H.O) recommendations while few are not. Inspite of this, recommendations are made to remedy the situations which include encouraging analysis of raw water, enlightenment campaign, groundwater exploration in Ikirun should be intensified and the principle of resource management should be adhered to.
1.1 Background of the Study
This chapter introduces what solid wastes are all about including its quality and effects on underground water. Solid wastes commonly known as trashes or garbages are wastes consisting of everyday items we consume and discard.
It predominantly includes food wastes, yard wastes, containers, product packaging, and other miscellaneous inorganic wastes from residential, commercial, institutional and industrial resources.
While underground water is the water found beneath the soil. Underground water occurs as a result of rain fall entering into the soil surface. It may also occur as a result of percolation from surface water into the soil. When rain falls to the ground, the water does stop, some flow along the surface to the streams or lakes, while some are used by plants, some evaporate and return to the atmosphere while some sink into the ground . When pouring a glass of water into a pile of sand, it is obvious that the water will move into the space between particles of sand.
Scientifically, groundwater is found in the cracks and spaces in the soil, sand and rock.
It moves slowly through layers of soil, sand and rock called aquifers. Aquifers typically consist of gravel, sand, stone or fractured rock, like lime stone. These particles are permeable because the large connected spaces that allow water to flow through the speed at which ground water flows depends on the size of spaces in the soil or rock and how well the spaces are connected. The area where water full aquifer is called the saturated zone (or saturation zone).
The top of the zone is called the water table. The water table may be located either a meter below the ground surface or it consists of thirty meter down . Groundwater can be found almost everywhere. The water table may be deep or shallow and may rise or fall depending on many factors.
Heavy rains or melting snow can cause the water table to rise or heavy pumbing groundwater supplies may cause the water table to fall. Water in aquifers is brought to the surface naturally through spring can or be discharged into lakes or streams. Groundwater can also be extracted well drilled into aquifers. A well is a pipe in the ground that fuse with groundwater. The water can be brought to the surface by a pump. Some wells called artesian wells, do not need a pump because of natural pressure that forces water up and out of the well. Groundwater supplies are replenished or recharged by rain and snow melt. In some areas of the world, people face serious shortages of water because groundwater is used faster than it is naturally replenished or recharged. If ground becomes polluted, it will no longer be safe to drink. Groundwater is used for drinking water by more than 50% of the people. In the United States including almost everyone who lives in rural areas it is important for all of us to learn how to protect our groundwater because of its importance as a source of water for drinking and irrigation.
In other areas groundwater is polluted by human activities, in areas where material above the aquifer is permeable, pollutant can be easily sunk into the groundwater. Ground-water can be polluted by landfills, septic tanks, leaking underground gas tanks, and from over use of residual single and multi-dwellings, food wastes, wood, papers, cardboards, textile leather, yardwastes, wood, glass, metals, ashes, special wastes(e.g bulky items, tyres) and household are hazardous wastes. Industrial light and heavy manufacturing, fabrications, power and chemicals and plants, house keeping wastes, packaging, food wastes, construction and demolition materials, ashes are specials wastes.
In other words wastes from hotels, restaurants, markets, office building( paper, card board, food, plastic, glass metals), institutional schools, hospitals, prisons, government centres, heavy and light manufacturing refineries, chemical plant, mineral extraction, industrial scrap materials, municipal services, street cleaning , land scraping, parks bleaching, recreational areas, water and wastes water management plant contribute immensely to the contamination of groundwater and they are the most common sources of wastes generation. It is noted that solid wastes have a great effect on the quality of underground water as a result of percolation, infilteration, leachate and dis-integration of wastes material by the action of rainfall into the ground.
1.2 Problem of the Study
The problem of solid wastes and its effect on the quality of underground water is now the focus of attention all over the world. The problem of waste generation in the country in the recent past had been quite tremendous, necessitating the need for this project.
In fact, the presence of wastes scattered all over cities and towns and even in our institutions of higher learning is a threat to health and embarrassment to the pleasant standard expected of these areas. The menace of solid waste generation is most prominent in developed and industrialized countries; this is because complexity of generated waste is directly proportional to development in science and technology. Construction and operation of land filling material, recovery system, and incineration systems have become very costly.
It is noteworthy that the urban populace generates more wastes than the rural areas. This is because of the various forms of commercial and industrial activities going on in cities and which have brought an increase in the volume and diversity of waste generated daily in the country. These have some great effects on underground water consumption (borehole and well).
It is therefore believed that in consumption of underground water such as bore hole and well water, certain tests are needed to be carried out before consumption in regulation with the principles of World Health Organization. These tests are:
- PH Test
- Total caliform test
- Test for nitrate [No3-N]
- Aerobic and sulphate reducing bacteria.
These tests are the most important tests carried out to know the physical, chemical and biological effects of solid wastes on underground water before it could be suitable for consumption. In additional, wastes are such items which people are required to discard. It can be defined as unavoidable material resulting from an activity which has no immediate economic demand and must be disposed off .Items such as household rubbish, sewage sludge, waste from manufacturing can give to a large variety of different wastes from different sources. Wastes are generated everyday in all parts of the world (Oluwande 1973). This mainly made up of waste coming from household , commercial activities ( e.g shops, restaurant, hospital), industry (e.g pharmaceutical companies, clothes manufacturers e.t.c), agriculture (slurry) construction and demolition projects, mining and quarrying activities and from the generation of energy . With such vast quantities of wastes being produced, It is of vital importance that it is managed in such a way that does not cause any harm to either human health or to the environment.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
- To know the physical, chemical and biological effect of solid wastes on underground water and determine the amount of wastes within the study areas.
- To determine whether the water pollutions have dangerous effect on the people and animals in the areas of study environment.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
- To prevent all individuals, relevant organizations, researchers from drinking underground water that is very closed to dumping areas in order to avoid deadly diseases.
- To inform the people on the hazard and result of wastes on their health from drinking underground water especially those that are very close to the dumping areas in other to prevent untimely death.
- To educate people on the negative effects of water pollution on health
1.5 Scope of the Study
In Osun State, South West of Nigeria with thirty local governments, only one town was explored by the researcher. The town is Ikirun in Ifelodun local government.
Ikirun is centrally located in Osun north east division of Osun State with latitude 7 degree, 50 feet north of equator and longtitude 4 degree, 40 feet east of GreenWich meridian .It is bounded on the north by Inisa town in Odo-Oti local government area, on the south by Osogbo the Osun State capital to the east by Iragbiji town in Boripe local government, and to the West by Eko-Ende town also in Ifelodun local government.
In this town different wells were examined both in dry season and rainy season especially those that are very close to the dumping areas. The difficulty encountered during the course of this project was my inabilities to perform some tests which are very expensive. This was due to the fact that it required initial fund to carry them out. Examples of such tests are aerobic and sulphate reducing bacteria test e.t.c.
1.6 Limitation of the Study
There are some certain tests which should be performed, these are , Aerobic Test, Pathogen Screen Test, etc. But due to the time factor, money and some facilities which are needed but are not present at hand, these tests could not be carried by the researcher.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Percolation can be defined as the slow passage of a liquid through a filtrating medium. It is also known as the process of water seepage through the soil.
The process by which water on the ground surface enters the soil
It is any liquid that in passing through matter, extracts, solutes, suspended solids or other components, of the material through which it has passed.
4. Hazardous Wastes:
These are wastes that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or environments
These are underground layers of porous rocks or sand that allow the movement of water between layers of non-porous rocks (sand stone, gravel or fractured lime stone or granite).
6. Waste Prevention:
It is the method of eliminating waste at source and reducing the demand on natural or origin resources.
7. Waste Re-Use:
It is the method of using a waste product from one process as a raw material to form another.
8. Waste Recycles:
This is the method of breaking down the waste items into raw material.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The integration of electrical resistivity and electromagnetic (VLF-EM) methods was used in this study work to investigate a dumpsite facility. The results of the VLF-EM survey revealed the locations and variation extent of the contamination patches on the site. The VLF-EM curves depict the geometry of the leachate plumes inside the waste disposal site as conductive anomalies.
The results of VES 1 and VES 2 give the values of contamination zones as low as 12.0Ωm and 40.5Ωm terminating at a depth of 4m. The measurement of the depths of the hand dug wells in the area varied from 3m to 4m showing that most of the wells were shallow and therefore prone to contamination due high porosity and permeability of sandy soil and loose topsoil of the study site. The outcome of the hydrochemical analysis conducted on the water samples obtained from the hand dug wells in the area further confirmed this. The results were compared with the standard guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO, 2011) to ascertain their quality and it was shown that the quality of water in the research area falls below standard. Also since the degree of contamination during raining season is higher than that of dry season, we infer that the contaminants are not actually migrating from the host rocks which act as aquifers but from the decayed organic materials on the surface.
Therefore if the cost of borehole could not be afforded within the study site, deep-wells with depths not less than 6m or more is recommended.
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