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1.1       Background of the study

Water is essential for man’s existence, it is needed in large quantities and in all wholesomeness despite the requirements for potable supply, water is needed for power generation, irrigation, recreation, industrial production processes and in waste disposal. The importance of water made it possible for nature to distribute it all over the regions of the earth. The planet earth contains about 70% water in form of oceans, seas, rivers, lakes and ground water. Water provided for human consumption should receive minimum possible treatment, though the best supply is one which needs no treatment at all. Public health is vulnerable to the danger of incidence of diseases, mainly through water borne, water related and water washed diseases. These diseases include cholera, typhoid and para-typhoid fever, malaria, yellow fiver, schistosomosois and guinea worm. Consequent to the incidence of disease, water treatment processes become a preciosity that require careful while handling. For an acceptable quality of water supply the international standard for drinking water established by World Health Organization (2007) states that water intended to human consumption must be free from organisms and from concentration of chemical substances that may be hazardous to health. Supplies of drinking water should be pleasant to drinking as circumstance permit.
The quality of water must be wholesome and palatable. Wholesome water must be free from organisms, poisonous and excessive amount of mineral, turbidity taste, odour, and must be well aerated.

Water quality monitoring is necessary in present day society, especially for rivers affected by urban effluents. Studies on water quality in the aquatic environment are still popular in the evaluation and management of rivers ecosystems in many countries (Watts and Smith, 1994; Njenga, 2004; Campbell, 1994). This is due to the changes in water chemistry of river and drainages can be the results of domestic, industrial or agricultural discharges which may in turn lead to aquatic ecosystem degradation (Pereira et al., 2007) such as deterioration of water quality in the rivers and drainages. Therefore, the determination of physicochemical and bacteriological parameters of the water samples can act as indicators of water pollution due to both natural and anthropogenic inputs (Amadi et al., 2010, Yisa and Jimoh, 2010). According to Tahri et al., (2005), the importance of the provision of potable water supply in any nation cannot be over emphasized. With increasing population, wealth and economic activities generally, there is a corresponding increase in the demand for water supply globally (Lakhan et al., 2003).

In the last few decades, there has a tremendous increase in the demand for water due to rapid growth of population and the accelerated pace of industrialization (Ramakrishnaiah et al., 2009). Human health is threatened by most of the agricultural development activities particularly in relation to excessive application of fertilizers and unsanitary conditions. In most towns in Nigeria with rivers passing through them, such rivers have been converted into dump sites or latrines, with the consequence adverse effects on the health of the downstream users. Most houses, public offices, schools does not have latrines causing individuals to excrete anyhow in the bushes, rivers and open spaces is a pointer to the fact the Nigerian environment has been deteriorated. This is in addition to the poor sanitation culture exhibited by Nigerian populace. In addition, once the surface water is contaminated, its quality cannot be restored by stopping the pollutants from the source (Ramakrishnaiah et al., 2009). It therefore becomes imperative to regularly monitor the quality of the water and to device ways and means to protect it.

The quality of Otamiri River is been studied because they are the source of water for domestic, industrial and agricultural purposes in Owerri region. In the course of the sampling exercise, it was discovered that the banks of these rivers now serves as dump sites and also effluents from cottage industries, municipal sewage, agricultural and urban run-off are discharged into the river bringing about considerable change in their quality. These anthropogenic activities on this river pose a serious threat not only to organisms in the river but also the downstream water users. Otamiri River is studied together because they have a common source upstream and flows differently downstream.

Water Quality Index (WQI) is one of the most effective tools to communicate information on the quality of water to the concerned citizens and policy makers. It thus, becomes an important parameter for the assessment and management of surface water. WQI is a scale used to estimate an overall quality of water based on the values of the water quality parameters. It is a rating reflecting the composite influence of different water quality parameters. WQI is calculated from the point view of the suitability of surface water for human consumption.


1.2 Statement of the problem

The effect of anthropogenic activities on Otamiri River as a result of the increasing rate of urbanization in Owerri, Nigeria is of a great concern due to the fact that water from this river is the source of water distributed for public use. These rivers are of particular importance in the study of surface water pollution because effluents from industries, municipal waste, agricultural and urban run-off are discharged into it thereby deteriorating the quality.



1.3 Objective of the study

The objectives of the present research is to provide information on the physico-chemical and bacteriological characteristics of Otamiri River in order to appreciate the impact of unregulated waste discharge on the quality of this river as well as to discuss its suitability for human consumption based on the computed water quality index values.


1.4       Significance of the study

This project provides information on how the River is being contaminated along the reaches of the river. This study will be of a great benefit to the residents of Otamiri community.



1.5       Scope of the study

The scope of this project is the proper assessment of Otamiri water quality for agricultural and domestic uses. Study methodology, decision on quality parameters for analysis.


1.6       Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this project, some difficulties were encountered which includes;
Unavailability of research material like test book.  Unsteady power supply that delayed the laboratories experiment.  Difficulties encountered when analyzing different water sample
Non availability of equipment needed for water quality analysis.



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