Determination of Water Quality Index of Some Selected Water Bodies in High Level Town in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.


By Gav, BL; Nanev, JD; Adamu, AA (2021). Greener Journal of Physical Sciences, 7(1): 1-7.

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Greener Journal of Physical Sciences

Vol. 7(1), pp. 1-7, 2021

ISSN: 2276-7851

Copyright ©2021, the copyright of this article is retained by the author(s)

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Determination of Water Quality Index of Some Selected Water Bodies in High Level Town in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.

Gav, B. Lyambee1; Nanev, J.D1; Adamu A.A1

1Dept. of chem., Faculty of Natural Science, Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University P.M.B 2373, Makurdi, Nigeria.

Article No.: 111721123

Type: Research

Full Text: HTML, PHP, EPUB

This study was carried out to determine water quality index of some selected water bodies in High – Level of Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. Pipe borne, Borehole water and Well water samples were collected from High – Level and analyzed for Hydrogen Ion Concentration (pH) Total Alkalinity, (TA) Chloride (Cl), Electrical conductivity (EC), Turbidity, Dissolved Oxygen(DO), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Sulphate, Nitrate, Total Dissolved Solid (TDS), Total Suspended Solid(TSS), Calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg) using standard this study, water quality index was determined on the basis of various physicochemical parameters mentioned above. The results obtained for the Water Quality Index(WQI) from the distribution outlets of pipe borne, borehole and well waters in High Level, Makurdi were found to varies from 33.90 to 60.16 indicating that pipe borne water analyzed is safe for human consumption and other purposes while borehole and well waters are not safe based on Water Quality Index Standard.
Accepted: 20/11/2021

Published: 18/12/2021

*Corresponding Author

Dr. Gav B. Lyambee

E-mail: benedictgav@

Keywords: water quality index; water bodies; physicochemical and High-level.



The fresh water is of vital concern for mankind, since it is directly linked to human welfare. The surface water bodies, which are the most important sources of water for human activities are unfortunately under severe environmental stress and are being threatened as a consequence of developmental activities (Edet et al., 2012). Makurdi is a capital of Benue state, which lies in the coastal region of River Benue comprising numerous lentic water bodies. These water bodies are manmade or artificially constructed reservoirs to provide water for irrigation purposes or domestic use. There is something very beautiful about these water bodies not just aesthetically, but also intellectually. They do not just mirror their environment; they also reflect the society around them and accumulate all the ‘Sins’ of humanity. The condition of these water bodies is rather pathetic. Most of the water bodies disappeared due to encroachment and pollution. (WHO, 2006-2007).

Water plays a significant role in maintaining the human health and welfare. Clean drinking water is now recognized as a fundamental right of human beings. Around 780 million people do not have access to clean and safe water and around 2.5 billion people do not have proper sanitation(Gav et al.,2017) As a result, around 6–8 million people die each year due to water related diseases and disaster. Therefore, water quality control is a top-priority policy agenda in many parts of the world. In the today world, the water use in household supplies is commonly defined as domestic water. This water is processed to be safely consumed as drinking water and other purposes. Water quality and suitability for use are determined by its taste, odor, colour, and concentration of organic and inorganic matters. Contaminants in the water can affect the water quality and consequently the human health. The potential sources of water contamination are geological conditions, industrial and agricultural activities, and water treatment plants. These contaminants are further categorized as microorganisms, inorganics, organics, radionuclides, and disinfectants (WHO, 2011).

Water of good drinking quality is of basic importance to human physiology and man’s continued existence depends very much on its availability. An average man (of 53 kg – 63 kg body weight), requires about 3 litres of water in liquid and food daily to keep healthy. This fact apparently accounts for why water is regarded as one of the most indispensable substances in life and like air it is most abundant. Increase in human population has exerted an enormous pressure on the provision of safe drinking water especially in developing countries (Eneji,2012). Unsafe water is a global public health threat, placing persons at risk for a host of diarrheal and other diseases as well as chemical intoxication. Most of the fresh water bodies all over the world are getting polluted, thus decreasing the portability of water (Chandra et al., 2005).

The importance of water to man cannot be over emphasized. He can survive longer without food than without water. He requires it for his cooking, washing, sanitation, drinking and for growing his crops and running his factories. Therefore modern man like his primitive ancestors is heavily dependent on water for his sustenance. But because water is freely available through rainfall, until recently man has tended to take this resource for granted. Apart from its industrial use water is a necessary social amenity(Kar,2013).The provision of good quality water can help in eradicating water-borne diseases and in improving the general sanitation of Nigeria’s towns and villages (Ayoade, 1995).

Water quality index provides a single number that expresses overall water quality at a certain location and time, based on several water quality parameters. The objective of water quality index is to turn complex water quality data into information that is understandable and usable by the public (Dwived and Pathak,2007). A single number cannot tell the whole story of water quality; there are many other water quality parameters that are not included in the index. However, a water quality index based on some very important parameters can provide a simple indicator of water quality. In general, water quality indices incorporate data from multiple water quality parameters into a mathematical equation that rates the health of a water body with number (Chowdhury et al.,2012). The aim of this research is to determine the water quality index (WQI) of water of some selected water bodies in Makurdi, metropolis.



The Study Area

The area of this study is Makurdi which is the capital of the state Benue State Nigeria. The city is located in Central Nigeria along the Benue River between latitude 7.60 N and longitude 7.30 E and holds the base for the Nigerian Air Forces MIG 21 and SEPECAT jaguar aircraft squadrons. As of 2007, Makurdi had an estimated population of 500985.The study area has a tropical climate, the main annual rainfall is between 1250-2000mm, while the mean degree temperature is 32°C. The Raining season Start from April. While the dry season covers a period of November-April. The major ethnic groups are the Tiv, Idoma and Igede. While other migrants include the Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, etc. Makurdi is home to Benue state university and the Federal University of Agriculture. Makurdi is located on the banks of the Benue River, a major tributary of the Niger River. It is also located on the main narrow gauge railway line running north to Port Harcourt; although this is not currently working. There are regular bus services linking Makurdi to neighboring towns. Benue state is predominantly an agricultural catchment area specializing in cash crops, subsistence crops, and a variety of potentials. Benue state has huge potentials in human capital, and material resource and a veritable source of raw materials for processing plants and manufacturing industries.


Fig .1: Map of Makurdi town Showing the Sampling site

Source: Benue ministry of land and survey area, 2018.

Sample Collection

Hand dug well, pipe borne water and borehole water were collected at the same location from different places in Makurdi town.

The samples were collected exactly by 12:00pm in High level area of Makurdi town.

The samples were collected in January, 2021. All samples were taking to a laboratory and kept in a deep freezer prior to analysis. The sampling sites for each point are located in Fig .1.

Methods of Analysis

Physico-chemical Analysis

The analysis of various physico-chemical parameters analyzed namely pH, total alkalinity, chloride, sulphate, nitrate, total hardness, magnesium, electrical conductivity, total dissolved solid, and total suspended solids were carried out as per methods described by WHO (1992). in Chemistry Instrumental Laboratory at Federal University of Agriculture. Makurdi.

Statistical Analysis

Calculation of Water Quality Index

In this study, for the calculation water quality index, thirteen important parameters were chosen. The weighted arithmetic index method (Brown, et al. , 1972) has been used for the calculation of WQI in this study with standards of drinking water as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO, 1992) . Furthermore, quality rating of sub-index was calculated using the following expression.


(Let there be 12 water quality parameters and equality rating (qn) corresponding to n1 parameter is a number reflecting relative value of this parameter in the polluted water with respect to its standard permissible value).

qn = Quality rating for the nth Water quality parameterVn = Estimated value of the nth parameter at a given water sampling station.Sn = Standard permissible value of the nth parameter

Vio = Ideal value of nth parameter in pure water (i.e., 0 for all other parameters except the parameters of pH and dissolve oxygen [7.0 and 14.6mg/1, respectively]).

The unit weight was calculated by a value inversely proportional to the recommended standard value Sn of the corresponding parameter.


Where, Wn = Unit weight for nh parameter

S” =Standard permissible value for nh parameter

k = Proportional constant.

The overall WQI is calculated by the following equation.


The suitability of WQI values for human consumption according to Asuquo and Etim (2013) are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Water Quality index and Quality of Water

Water Quality Index Level Water Quality Status
0-25 Excellent water quality
25-50 Good water quality
51-75 Poor water quality
76-100 Very poor water quality
> 100 Unsuitable for drinking


Table 2. Result of Physicochemical composition and calculated water quality index values of Some Portable Water bodies in High-level, Makurdi.

Parameters Borehole Pipe borne Well water WHO Standard (2018)
Temperature (°c) 32.67 30.67 30.73 30-32
PH 7.53 8.47 6.50 6.5-8.5
Conductivity (µs/cm) 33.02 49.53 53.40 500
COD (mg/l) 3.34 2.32 5.39 7.5
Turbidity (NTU) 3.95 3.25 3.09 5.00
DO (mg/l) 3.44 4.05 3.10 7.50
Sulfate (mg/l) 0.12 0.13 1.06 200
Nitrate (mg/l) 0.27 0.30 2.60 10.00
BOD (mg/l) 0.92 1.20 1.22 5.00-9.00
TDS (mg/l) 1.08 0.45 6.22 259-500
TSS (mg/l) 2.61 3.46 7.81 30
Total Alkalinity (mg/l) 52.10 41.19 73.24 100
Cl(mg/l) 42.60 209.78 239.93 200-250
Ca + Mg (mg/l) 50.53 70.35 55.14 200
∑WnQn 55.51 33.90 60.16  
Wn 1.00 1.00 1.00  
WQI 55.51 33.90 60.16  

DO: Oxygen demand, NO: Nitrate, Cl: Chloride, TSS: Total suspended solids, EC: Electrical conductivity, BOD: Biochemical oxygen demand, TDS: Total dissolved solids, Wn: Unit weight for nth parameter; qn: Quality rating for the nth water quality parameter; WQI: Water quality index.


Temperature of water is basically important because it affects biochemical reactions in aquatic organisms (Chandaluri et al., 2010). A rise in temperature of water lead to the speeding up of chemical reactions in water reduces the solubility of gasses and increases the taste and odours. The temperature ranges obtained in this investigation is within the recommended standards.

pH is an important parameter which determines the suitability of water for various purposes. The pH value of natural water changes due to the biological activity and industrial contamination (Gav et al.2017) . The pH values of the present investigation were within the recommended standards of 6.5 to 8.50. In the present study, pH ranges from 6.50 to 8.47 for the entire water samples analyzed.

Electric conductivity is a measure of current carrying capacity. Thus, as concentration dissolved salts increases conductivity also increases. Many dissolved substance may aesthetically displeasing colour, taste and odour (Chandaluri et al., 2010). The values obtained in this study were in the ranges of 33.02 to 53.40µs/cm which are far less than the recommended standard. This may be as a result of dissolved solid materials and high organic wastes as well.

A Chemical oxygen demand value ranges from 2.32 to 5.39 mg/L was recorded. The COD result of this present investigation may be due to the level of oxidisable organic waste in the water at High- level that caused the variation between the recommended standards, and may not be suitable for aquaculture.

Turbidity in the water may be due to organic and or inorganic constituents. Also turbidity is often determined and used as surrogate measure of total suspended solids (Bilota and Brazier, 2008). During this study the mean turbidity of 3.09 to 3.95 NTU was obtained. This result is below the recommended standard value for turbidity of 5.00 NTU (WHO 2004, NSDWQ 2007). As such the water bodies are fit for all purposes.

Dissolved Oxygen (DO) is an important parameter which is essential. Dissolved oxygen (DO) is essential to the survival of organisms in a stream. The presence of oxygen is a positive sign and the absence of oxygen is a sign of severe pollution. Waters with consistently high dissolved oxygen are considered to be stable aquatic systems capable of supporting many different kinds of aquatic life. The DO values obtained in the present study ranges from 3.10 to 4.05 mg/l. Shows variation in the values and compared to recommended standards, which may be as a result of intensive organic wastes in the waters.

More also, the sulfate level for this research work ranges from 0.12 to 1.16 mg/l, shows variation in values and compared with WHO standard. Thus, the values are within the standard, and variation could be also as a result of both organic and inorganic component in the water samples.

Nitrate is the most important nutrients in an ecosystem. Generally water bodies polluted by organic matter exhibit higher values of nitrate( Chandra et al., 2012). In the present study the water bodies analyzed showed low concentrations of nitrates (0.27-2.60 mg/l) was below the permissible levels as per the standards.

Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) is the parameter used to assess the pollution of surface water and ground water and for microorganisms’ degradation of organic substance in water (Asuquo & Etim, 2012). The values obtained for BOD in this study ranges from 0.92 to 1.22 mg/l. The results are not as exactly with recommended standards, the variations are due to poor aeration and iron containing compounds in the water samples.

Total dissolved solids (TDS) results obtained for this work ranges from 0.65 to 6.22 mg/l in all the water samples, shows significant variation compared to recommended standards, which maybe as a of result large organic waste or particles in the waters(NSDWQ,2007). The Total Suspended Solids values observed and compared with standard are still well below the maximum WHO standard of 2.61 to 7.81 mg/L. Based on the result, it was also found that the water samples collected from the three locations showed very little TSS contents. This may be due to settled and suspended particles such as silt, clay, and other inorganic particles (Kazi et al.,2009).

Alkalinity of natural water is due to bicarbonate. Low alkalinity is for low production, medium alkalinity for medium production and high alkalinity is for high production (Olopado, 2013). Bicarbonate (HCO3) is one of the major chemical constituents that make up 99 percent solute content of natural water (Ishaq and Khan,2013). In this present study the mean bicarbonate concentration of 41.19 to 73.24 mg/L was obtained during this present investigation, from the results there’s variation compared to WHO of 100 mg/l. Variation raised as result of human activities that occurs in the waters. Though, the results are still within limit.

Chloride is of the most important parameter in assessing the water quality. (Chandaluri et al., 2010), is of the opinion that higher concentration of chlorides indicates higher degree of organic pollution. In the present study, the concentration of chloride ranges from 42.60 to 239.93 mg/l, falls within the recommended standards. The results showed some significant difference in relation to the recommended standards.

Hardness is a measure of the ability of water to cause precipitation of insoluble calcium and magnesium salts of higher fatty acids from soap solutions (Lawson, 2011). The principal hardness causing ions are calcium, magnesium bicarbonates, carbonates, chloride and sulfate. The quantities of calcium in natural water depend up on the type of rocks. Small concentration of calcium is beneficial in reducing the corrosion in water pipes. Magnesium hardness particularly associated with sulphate ion has laxative effects on persons unaccustomed to it (Chadaluri, et al., 2010). In the present study calcium and magnesium contents were found in the ranges of 50.53 to 70.35mg/l. These values are below the recommended standard of 200 mg/l.

Water quality index indicates the quality of water in terms of index number which represents overall quality of water for any intended use (Nasirian,2007). In this investigation, the WQI is established from physico-chemical parameters such as pH, total alkalinity, chlorides, sulphate, nitrate, total hardness, calcium, magnesium, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, total dissolved solids and total suspended solids. The values of the various physico-chemical parameters for the calculation of WQI are presented in Table 1. The WQI obtained in this study for the different water samples analyzed are as follows; Borehole water: The water quality index calculated was 55.51 which imply that water quality status is poor. For pipe borne water the water quality index calculated was 33.90 which signify that water quality status is good. Lastly, Well water quality index calculated was 60.16 which also imply that water quality status is poor. The above water quality index is supported by the following physico-chemical parameters variations observed among the different water samples which were all within the recommended standards.


Assembling different parameters into one single number leads an easy interpretation of water quality index thus providing a vital tool for management purposes. An index is a useful tool for communicating water quality information to the public and to legislative decision makers; it is not a complex predictive model for technical and scientific application. From the application of water quality index for the determination of water quality of pipe borne, borehole and well water in High-level of Makurdi, Benue State Nigeria, it is concluded that pipe borne water sample analyzed in this work is fit and suitable for drinking and for other human applications, indicating that the water is not polluted. Whereas well and borehole water samples analyzed in this study are not fit and suitable for drinking and for other domestic applications, based on the water quality index standard applied in this study. Indicating that waters are polluted and most be treated before consumption.



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Cite this Article: Gav, BL; Nanev, JD; Adamu, AA (2021). Determination of Water Quality Index of Some Selected Water Bodies in High Level Town in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. Greener Journal of Physical Sciences, 7(1): 1-7.


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