Environmental Assessment Of Industrial Water Pollution

Project and Seminar Material for Environmental Science

Environmental Assessment Of Industrial Water Pollution


This study deals with environmental assessment of industrial water pollution in Lagos State, Nigeria. The water quality assessment of Ibese River, which is the principal river of the Igbogbo Abayeku Areas of Ikorodu in Lagos, was performed. Assessment was undertaken according to different physical and chemical parameters including biological oxygen demand (BOD), dissolved oxygen (DO), electric conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), alkalinity, acidity, total hardness (TH), grease content, major cation and anion, and some heavy metals. Results showed that the river, which was of good water quality at its upstream, in terms of the aforementioned parameters, becomes progressively polluted by the waste materials discharged along its course. A general downstream trend of increase in organic and inorganic pollution was declared. Thus, Ibese River currently faces a number of serious environmental and ecological challenges. Urbanization and industrialization of the watershed at Ibese area in Ikorodu contributed to the water quality deterioration with regional consequences on the aquatic ecosystem and on the health of the down streams user groups. This synergetic effect is of concern for the sustainable use of the resources.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background To Study

Water pollution is a major problem in the global context, and it has been suggested that is the leading worldwide cause of deaths and diseases (World Resources 1998). The growth of the major industrial cities also caused water pollution. All too often, rivers that pass through urban areas became a receptacle for human waste products, both domestic and industrial. Sewage, as in most cities, was washed out into the streets where it found its way to the rivers with disastrous consequences. In the first half of the 18th century, both London and Paris, the largest cities in Europe with respectively 1 and 2.4 million inhabitants by 1850, experienced a series of recurring epidemics of cholera and typhoid. In 1832 over 20,000 Parisians died in a cholera outbreak; London experienced similar outbreaks. This was caused by increasing amounts of sewage dumped into the Seine and Thames rivers.

Beyond synthetic pollution, freshwater is also the end point for biological waste, in the form of human sewage, animal excrement, and rainwater runoff flavored by nutrient-rich fertilizers from yards and farms. These nutrients find their way through river systems into seas, sometimes creating coastal ocean zones void of oxygen and therefore aquatic life—and making the connection between land and sea painfully obvious. The discharge of industrial effluent into water bodies is one of the main causes of environmental pollution and this effect can be seen to have a hazardous and harmful effect on human health. Water Pollution also affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water; and, in almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to the natural biological communities (Fewtrell and Colford, 2004).

This effect also leads to degradation in many cities especially in developing countries as many industries lack liquid and solid waste regulations and proper disposal facilities, including for harmful waste. Such waste may be infectious, toxic or radioactive.

Pollution can be seen as a contributing factor in influencing environmental health. Pollution is therefore said to be the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substancesor energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution. Chemicals can enter waterways from a point source or a nonpoint source. Point source pollution is due to discharges from a single source, such as an industrial site. Nonpoint source pollution involves many small sources that combine to cause significant pollution. For instance, the movement of rain or irrigation water over land picks up pollutants such as fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides and carries them into rivers, lakes, reservoirs, coastal waters, or groundwater. From this analysis, it is only logical to define what a pollutant is.

As technology improves, scientists are able to detect more pollutants, and at smaller concentrations, in Earth’s freshwater bodies. Containing traces of contaminants ranging from birth control pills and sunscreen to pesticides and petroleum, our planet’s lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater are often a chemical cocktail. A pollutant can be defined as a waste material that pollutes air, water or soil. Pollutants, the elements of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. It can be characterized by chemical nature, concentration and persistence. Different kinds of pollutants affect human beings unknowingly because the chronic effects are not dramatic compared to the acute menaces. The effects of water pollution are not only devastating to people but also to animals, fish, and birds. Polluted water is unsuitable for drinking, recreation, agriculture, and industry. It diminishes the aesthetic quality of lakes and rivers. More seriously, contaminated water destroys aquatic life and reduces its reproductive ability. Eventually, it is a hazard to human health. Nobody can escape the effects of water pollution.

Industry clustered in urban and semi-urban areas surrounded by densely populated low income localities continues to pollute the environment with impurity. Chemical pollution of surface water can create health risks, because such waterways are often used directly as drinking water sources or connected with shallow wells used for drinking water. In addition, waterways have important roles for washing and cleaning, for fishing and fish farming, and for recreation. Another major source of drinking water is groundwater, which often has low concentrations of pathogens because the water is filtered during its transit through underground layers of sand, clay, or rocks. However, toxic chemicals such as arsenic and fluoride can be dissolved from the soil or rock layers into groundwater. Direct contamination can also occur from badly designed hazardous waste sites or from industrial sites. In the United States in the 1980s, the government set in motion the Superfund Program, a major investigation and cleanup program to deal with such sites (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2000).

Industrial pollution is pollution which can be directly linked with industry, in contrast to other pollution sources. This form of pollution is one of the leading causes of pollution worldwide; in the United States, for example, the Environmental Protective Agency estimates that up to 50% of the nation’s pollution is caused by industry. There are a number of forms of industrial pollution. One of the most common is water pollution, caused by dumping of industrial waste into waterways, or improper containment of waste, which causes leakage into groundwater and waterways. In developing countries, 70 percent of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters, polluting the usable water supply.

On average, 99 million pounds (45 million kilograms) of fertilizers and chemicals are used each year Industrial pollution can also impact air quality, and it can enter the soil, causing widespread environmental problems. Because of its size and scope, industrial pollution is a serious environmental problem for the entire planet, especially in nations which are rapidly industrializing, like Nigeria. It arises from lack of control of pollutant industries. Industrial pollution hurts the environment in a range of ways because Pollutants can kill animals and plants, imbalance ecosystems, degrade air quality radically, damage buildings, and generally degrade quality of life. Factory workers in areas with uncontrolled industrial pollution are especially vulnerable. A growing awareness of factory pollution and its consequences has led to tighter restrictions on pollution all over the world, with nations recognizing that they have an obligation to protect themselves and their neighbors from pollution. It is in this stride, that several agencies have been set up all over the world for mitigating or reducing to the barest minimum, environmental pollution. However, industrial pollution also highlights a growing issue: the desire of developing nations to achieve first world standards of living and production.

Ideally, the siting of industries should achieve a balance between socio-economic and environmental consideration. In Nigeria, the siting of industries is determined by various criteria, some of which are environmentally unacceptable and pose serious threats to public health (WHO/UNEP, 1997). Therefore, the need to control this.

This proposal gives an overview on environmental assessment of industrial water pollution and control as it effects industry.

1.2 Statement Of The Research Problems

The statement of the research problem basically includes how the area has been affected by pollution and what has happened over the years concerning pollution as regards standards and enforcement.

This is mainly due to:

  1. Lack of public authorities to take measures appropriate to their functions;
  2. Lack of proper implementation strategy and directives as regards laws relating to this;
  3. Lack of economic viable treatment technologies;
  4. Lack of effective monitoring control by regulatory bodies
  5. Inefficacy by the regulatory body for proper identification and registration of industries which may be due to inadequacy of proper collation of data
  6. Lack of awareness by the general public and industry owners.

1.3 Aim And Objectives


The study attempts to examine the environmental assessment of industrial pollution in Ikeja and to evolve recommendations aimed at ameliorating the situation.


The objectives of this study include:

  1. To understand what laws say about sitting in industries and environmental protection and if they are being abided by.
  2. To identify the laws guarding against water pollution from industries and if they are being abided by.
  3. To identify the implementation strategies used by public authorities in effecting laws.
  4. To understand the effect these pollutants could have on the environment as a whole.
  5. To identify the amount of pollutants being disposed into water sources.
  6. To identify proper disposal of industrial waste.

1.4 Justification Of Study.

This issue must be tackled because the common chemical pollutants harmful to human health found in ground water due to industrial discharges are chlorides, nitrates, heavy metals, and organic matter. The common health problems caused by ground water pollution include miscarriage low birth weight, birth defects and premature infant death. Adults and children suffer from skin problems, eye irritation and neurological problems like dizziness, seizures, fainting, etc. Surface water streams are also affected by industrial effluents and organics. Most of the treated industrial effluents are disinfected with chlorine which reach the receiving bodies and react with organic compound to form chlorinated organic. The presence of this compound in the water can cause cancer.

1.5 Scope Of Study

The attention is to be focused on industrial pollution in Ikeja, an in depth examination and analysis of the environmental assessment. Attempt is made in this study to deal with its effect on the environment and the people. The study will be limited in scope because attention will be focused on water pollution as its reference point.

1.6 The Study Area

The study area is Ikeja Lagos Nigeria is one of the most popular places within the State. Lagos state has the largest population density of the four most industrialized states in Nigeria (Lagos, Rivers, Kano and Kaduna). It is also the state with the greatest concentration of industries, with well over seven thousand medium and large-scale industrial establishments. It is claimed that about 70-80% of the manufacturing facilities operating within the medium and large-scale industries are located there in.

The major industrial estates in Lagos are: Ikeja, Agidingbi, Amuwo Odofin (industrial), Apapa, Gbagada, Iganmu, Ijora, Ilupeju, Matori, Ogba, Oregun, Oshodi/Isolo/Ilasamaja, Surulere (light industrial) and Yaba (Arikawe, 2002; Akinsanya, 2003; Ogungbuyi and Osho, 2005). Legend has it that, Ikeja was founded by an Awori (A Yoruba tribe in south west Nigeria) hunter with first name Akeja, after whom the area is named. To this day, many of Ikeja’s residents are of Awori descent

Chapter Five

Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the conclusion and recommendation for further studies.

5.2 Conclusion

Uncontrolled disposal of raw sewage and industrial effluents in the Ibese River system has created serious health concerns for the downstream water user groups. In view of the experiences and the lessons learnt from the past, the concept of Basin-wide planning has been felt necessary for sustainable development in Nigeria. Mitigation measures have been formulated, based on the present environmental conditions.

5.3 Recommendation

Based on the discussion of study of the study above, it is concluded that river water pollution which are envisaged to be effective for the Basin environmental management.

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