Dissolved nitrogen in drinking water resources of farming communities in Ghana


Osei Akoto* and Jackson Adiyiah

A water quality study was carried out on streams and boreholes which serve as drinking water sources in farming communities in the Brong Ahafo region of the Republic of Ghana. The objective of this research was to determine concentrations of different forms of nitrogen in drinking water samples. Water samples were collected from these sources every three months (from January – December 2005) and analyzed for ammonia, nitrate and nitrite using the Palintest Photometer Method. Results indicated the annual mean concentration of nitrate, nitrite and ammonia varied from 0.09 - 1.06 mg/l, 0.006 - 0.36 mg/l and 0.008 - 0.179 mg/l respectively. An important observation is that, in general, higher nitrate and nitrite concentrations were found during the rainy season compared to the dry season. Concentrations of these potentially toxic substances were below WHO acceptable limits for surface and groundwaters, indicating these water resources appear safe for drinking from a dissolved nitrogen perspective. 

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