IMPACT OF OIL EXPLORATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION ON GROUND WATER QUALITY IN SELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF RIVERS STATE
Groundwater remains one of the most important and reliable sources of water supply for man's use. In its natural form, groundwater is considered pure and unpolluted. However, anthropogenic activities such as crude oil and natural gas exploitation and production introduce foreign materials (contaminants) to groundwater which render it unfit for use. In this study, groundwater quality in oil bearing LGAs of Khana and Obio-Akpor in Rivers State was assessed. Water samples from existing boreholes were analyzed in the laboratory to ascertain their physicochemical characteristics. Results show that groundwater in the study areas are acidic and do not meet the World Health Organization (WHO) standard for drinking water which is a pH range of 6.5 – 8.5. While Khana has a pH range of 4.72 – 6.16 with a mean value of 5.23, Obio-Akpor recorded a pH range of 4.31 – 6.18 and a mean value of 4.79. The study traced the acid contamination to severe environmental pollution of the study areas as well as poor effluent and waste management practices. The study recommends adequate treatment of groundwater in the study areas before use to eliminate water borne diseases and corrosion/clogging of water facilities. It further recommends regular assessment and monitoring of groundwater in these areas to ascertain level of contamination and the likely method and technique for treatment and remediation.