Journal of Agronomy Research
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Research Article | Open Access
  • Available online freely | Peer Reviewed
  • | Provisional

    Assessment of Water Quality of Blue Nile River in Sudan

    Rasha Babiker Gurashi Abu Sabah 1     Abubaker Haroun Mohamed Adam 2       Dawoud Mohamed Ali 3    

    1Al Zaeem Al Azhari University, Sudan.

    2Department of Crop Science, College of Agriculture, University of Bahri, Sudan.

    3Al Nelain University- Khartoum, Sudan.

    Abstract

    The objectives of this study were to quantify the fresh water quality of Blue Nile River before processing, identify the pollutants, and to determine the most polluted areas, and their impacts on living organisms as well as the surrounding environment. Thus, random water samples were collected and analyzed at the laboratory of the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources, Ground water and Wadis Directorates - Khartoum. The outcomes were compared with the World Health Organization standardization. The results revealed variations in the concentration of the studied elements taken from the different locations. But, the results indicated that the water quality is good, and it is within the permissible water use. However, further study is recommended to include seasonal variation as well as the biological analysis.

    Received 02 Nov 2018; Accepted 28 Nov 2018; Published 07 Dec 2018;

    Academic Editor:Khalid Hussain, Department of Agronomy University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

    Checked for plagiarism: Yes

    Review by: Single-blind

    Copyright©  2018 Rasha Babiker Gurashi Abu Sabah, et al.

    License
    Creative Commons License    This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    Competing interests

    The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

    Citation:

    Rasha Babiker Gurashi Abu Sabah, Abubaker Haroun Mohamed Adam, Dawoud Mohamed Ali (2018) Assessment of Water Quality of Blue Nile River in Sudan. Journal of Agronomy Research - 1(3):1-14.
    Download as RIS, BibTeX, Text (Include abstract )
    DOI10.14302/issn.2639-3166.jar-18-2457

    Introduction

    Water is an abundant resource, yet in different regions safe, fresh clean water is critically short supply. The fresh water is considered one of the most vital resources in this planet. If water is polluted; it is not only devastating the environment, but also the human and animal health. Therefore, information on water is vital for monitoring, analyzing, evaluating, maintaining the quality, and sustainable use 1.

    Blue Nile River in Sudan is of great concern for socio-economic and environmental aspects. Fortunately, its water is, for many of years, had been; and still of good quality for irrigation, domestic, industrial, fishing, bathing uses, and electric power production, therefore, it should be kept clean 2. The important water attributes is the water quality, whichrefers to the chemical, physical, and microbiological characteristics which show wide variability worldwide.

    The physical properties are the color, turbidity, taste, temperature, and odor of water which can be determined by touch, taste, senses and smell. While chemical characteristics. The chemical is determined by the source such as refers to rocks, soil, industrial, etc. Any transformation in the chemical properties affects the water quality causing pollution. The major pollutant are in inorganic minerals, the cations, like calcium [(Ca++), magnesium (Mg++), sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+), (CaCO3) etc.., and anions such like (Cl-), (HCO3-)(NO3-)(SO4--), pH (Alkalinity, and Acidity). While the organic includes parameters includes hardness, total dissolved solids (TDS), electrical conductivity (EC).

    Water is said to be polluted; if it is impaired by contaminants so that it does not support a human use (drinking water), or undergoes a marked shift in its ability to support its constituent of biotic communities. Pollution; typically refers to chemicals or other substances in concentrations greater than would occur under natural conditions. Major water pollutants include organic chemicals, nutrients, microbes, heavy metals, sediments, oil and heat which raise the temperature of the receiving water 3.

    Water pollution occurs when a body of water becomes contaminated either by physical such as plastic, water bottles or rubber tires, or by chemical such as the run-off that finds its way into waterways from factories, cars, sewage treatment facilities. However, despite people have already started taking precautions, the water pollution levels are raising rapidly 4. Nevertheless, today, water pollution is likely to occur because of dramatic world population expansion and increasing human activities like industry, and agriculture which contribute to water pollution significantly.

    Several studies on water pollution were carried out in different parts of the world. A researcher, 5 studied the Surface water quality contamination in Nigeria, Other researchers 6 assessed water quality of Ebro River in Spain. The influence of Anthropogenic activities on water quality in Karstic region was also studied 7Other studies of water quality included the White River Basin, Indiana, in the United States of America (USA) 8, and Melen River in Turkey 9.

    Several factors cause water pollution, among thesethe human activities which play an important role in river water pollution. In Sudan, the establishment of factories like Tannery, soap, sugarcane industries in addition to chemicals used by farmers find their way to the river contaminate and pollute the water of the Blue Nile. This includes chemicals, pathogens, and physical changes like increased temperature and discoloration.

    However, high concentrations of naturally occurring substances like calcium, sodium, iron, and manganese, can have negative impacts on aquatic flora and fauna. Oxygen -depletion has an effect on photosynthesis. Moreover, the anthropogenic activity may cause turbidity (cloudiness) which blocks light, disrupts plant growth, and clogs the gills of some fish species 10. Furthermore, pathogens can produce waterborne diseases 11.

    Several studies revealed that alteration of water physical and chemical properties like change in acidity and electrical conductivity, eutrophication and temperature, has negative effect on aquatic living organisms. Similar effect can be produced by thermal if is released from cooling system by power plants and industrial manufacturers, when water temperatures will increase, consequently, oxygen levels will decrease. This can kill fish, alter food chain, reduce species biodiversity, and foster invasion by new thermophilic species 12.

    Generally, several factors causes river water pollution such as residues, animal waste, garbage toxic materials, including heavy metals such as Lead (pb), Mercury (My), Cadmium (Cd), Arsenic etc., biological: Microbial waste carried by water, organic and inorganic pollutants, including plant and animal wastes.

    Several methods are used for testing water quality, among these:

    Physical tests; including temperature, solid concentrations e.g., total suspended solids (TSST) and turbidity.

    Chemical Method

    It is used to measure the concentration of different chemicals in water samples to be measured. If the concentrations are high, the water is said to be polluted. It isused for both organic and inorganic compounds, including metals like copper, zinc, calcium, lead, mercury, oil, grease, and also nutrients like nitrate, nitrite, phosphorous compounds, pH, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and hydrocarbons 13.

    Biological testing; involves the use of plant, animal or microbial indicators to monitor the health of an aquatic ecosystem. The presence of any biological species reveals what degree of ecosystem or environmental integrity is present e.g., fish, insects and small water crustaceans and other invertebrates that present in water bodies. Such organisms can be monitored for changes (biochemical, physiological, or behavioral) indicating the water quality. The quality is said to be very good; if the water supports the living entities, if not, it is said to be poor 14.)

    Studies identifiedtwo main sources of water pollution, these are: the point sources (PS), which refers to contaminants that enter a waterway from identifiable source, like ditch or a pipe e.g., discharges from municipal storm sewage systems, industrial storm water, such as from construction sites a sewage treatment plant, a factory, or a city storm drain15, and non-point sources (NPS); that refers to diffuse contamination that does not originate from a single source. It is a cumulative effect of small amounts of contaminants gathered from a large area e.g., leaching out of nitrogen compounds from fertilized agricultural lands. Nutrient run-off in storm water from an agricultural field16.

    Materials and Methods

    Study Area

    This study was carried out along the Blue Nile River; which is located between the latitudes 140-24 ꞌ N 280-33 ꞌ E. and longitudes 150-00ꞌ N, 201- 33ꞌ E, The study area included Arbagi south Al Hessahisa, Abu Furou, Aldiem, Aljadded in Al Geizera State and Al Bageer, and Alack in Khartoum State.

    Materials

    The following materials were used: Global Positioning System (GPS), boat, rulers, sterilized glasses and containers, water.

    Methods

    Sampling Method

    In this study, six points were located along the Blue Nile River. The World Health Organization (WHO), water sampling method was adopted. Where, timely; about one liter (1 L) of water sample at the depth of 20 cm was taken by using sterilized bottles from each of the six locations. Water samples were taken from the two beaches (East and West) as well as from the middle of the river. All samples were tightly closed and placed in sterilized containers and immediately sent to the laboratories for Physical, chemical and biological analysis. The samples were analyzed at the laboratory of the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources. Ground water and Wadis Directorates-Khartoum and Sudanese Training Centre for Biotechnology- Department of Bacteriology and water analysis- Khartoum.

    Data Analysis

    The collected data were analyzed by K2. The results of data analysis were presented in tables.

    Results and Discussion

    Locations from where soil samples were taken are presented in the following tables: Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, Table 4, Table 5, Table 6, Table 7, Table 8

    Table 1. Sample location before Al Hesahesa (Arbagi, 2012)
    Sample Date SERNM: 10723
    LOCAL: BEFORE EL HESSAHESSA STATE: GEZIRA
    WATER SOURCE LATIT
    SAM DEP (m): WATER LEVEL (m)
    LOMT. ANA DATE:…13/12/2012
    DISCHARGE (mm3/day)  
    Discharge (mm3/day).
    SAN DATE: 13/12/2012
    Physical Properties: ODOUR ….. N
    COOR (Pi Co)……N pH…… ….. 7.9
    TURB (FTU)……..0 TASTE………N
    E COND (µs/cm) …226 S S (ppm)
    D O (ppm) ……..0  
    Aesthetical Quality in (ppm) SULFATE……….23
    TDS………………151.2 CALCIUM….34.4
    TH………………..113 MAGANESIUM….4.86
    T ALKAL……….128 SODIUM….80
    EX ALKA………66.82 POTASIUM….0
    BICARBONATE ALKA…..123 SILICA ….. 0
    CARBINATE ALKA…0 IRON ….. 0
    CHLORIDE…..8,57  
    Inorganic Constituents of Health Significance in (ppm) MANGANESE.…….0
    FLUORIDE….0.01 ARSENIC……… ….. 0
    NITRATE……2.83 COPPER……………0
    NITRITE…….0.033 LEAD……………….0
    AMMONIA ….0  

    Table 2. Water sample location after Al Hessahessa (2012)
    Sample Date: SERNM: 10724
    LOCAL: AFTER EL HESSAHESSA STATE: GEZIRA
    WATER SOURCE LATIT
    SAM DEP (m): WATER LEVEL (m)
    LOMT. ANA DATE:…13/12/2012
    DISCHARGE (mm3/day)  
    Discharge (mm3/day).
    SAN DATE: 13/12/2012
    Physical Properties: ODOUR ….. N
    COOR (Pi Co)……N pH…… ….. 8.3
    TURB (FTU)……..0 TASTE………N
    E COND (µs/cm) …207. S S (ppm)
    D O (ppm) ……..0  
    Aesthetical Quality in (ppm) SULFATE……….23
    TDS………………144.9 CALCIUM….28.8
    TH………………..132 MAGANESIUM….14.58
    T ALKAL……….115.8 SODIUM….80
    EX ALKA………46.428 POTASIUM….0
    BICARBONATE ALKA…..109.8 SILICA ….. 0
    CARBINATE ALKA…6 IRON ….. 0
    CHLORIDE…..7.81  
    Inorganic Constituents of Health Significance in (ppm) MANGANESE.…….0
    FLUORIDE….0.23 ARSENIC……… ….. 0
    NITRATE……0.89 COPPER……………0
    NITRITE…….0.0133 LEAD……………….0
    AMMONIA ….0  

    Table 3. Sample location: South El Gunied Sugar Factory (2012)
    Sample Date: SERNM: 10725
    LOCAL: BEFORE EL GUNIED SUGAR FACTORY STATE: GEZIRA
    WATER SOURCE LATIT
    SAM DEP (m): WATER LEVEL (m)
    LOMT. ANA DATE:…13/12/2012
    DISCHARGE (mm3/day)  
    Discharge (mm3/day).
    SAN DATE: 13/12/2012
    Physical Properties: ODOUR ….. N
    COOR (Pi Co)……N pH…… ….. 8.3
    TURB (FTU)……..0 TASTE………N
    E COND (µs/cm) …208. S S (ppm)
    D O (ppm) ……..0  
    Aesthetical Quality in (ppm) SULFATE……….20
    TDS………………145.6 CALCIUM….29.6
    TH………………..98 MAGANESIUM….3.4
    T ALKAL……….152.4 SODIUM….80
    EX ALKA………108.544 POTASIUM….0
    BICARBONATE ALKA…..146.4 SILICA ….. 0
    CARBINATE ALKA…0 IRON ….. 0
    CHLORIDE…..6.39  
    Inorganic Constituents of Health Significance in (ppm) MANGANESE.…….0
    FLUORIDE….0.01 ARSENIC……… ….. 0
    NITRATE……2.64 COPPER……………0
    NITRITE…….0.033 LEAD……………….0
    AMMONIA ….0  

    Table 4. Sample location North ELGunied Sugar Factory (2012)
    Sample Date: SERNM: 10721
    LOCAL: AFTER EL GUNIED SUGAR FACTORY STATE: GEZIRA
    WATER SOURCE LATIT
    SAM DEP (m): WATER LEVEL (m)
    LOMT. ANA DATE:…13/12/2012
    DISCHARGE (mm3/day)  
    Discharge (mm3/day).
    SAN DATE: 13/12/2012
    Physical Properties: ODOUR ….. N
    COOR (Pi Co)……N pH…… ….. 8.1
    TURB (FTU)……..0 TASTE………N
    E COND (µs/cm) …209. S S (ppm)
    D O (ppm) ……..0  
    Aesthetical Quality in (ppm) SULFATE……….16
    TDS………………146.3 CALCIUM….28
    TH………………..118 MAGANESIUM….1.458
    T ALKAL……….121.8 SODIUM….30
    EX ALKA………4.028 POTASIUM….0
    BICARBONATE ALKA…..109.8 SILICA ….. 0
    CA………………………..12 IRON ….. 0
    RBINATE ALKA…0  
    CHLORIDE…..15.62  
    Inorganic Constituents of Health Significance in (ppm) MANGANESE.…….0
    FLUORIDE…....0.19 ARSENIC……… ….. 0
    NITRATE…..…2.2 COPPER……………0
    NITRITE……....0.0133 LEAD……………….0
    AMMONIA …...0.0122  

    Table 5. Sample location South Al Bagair (2012)
    Sample Date: SERNM: 10725
    LOCAL: SOUTH AL BAGAIR STATE: GEZIRA
    WATER SOURCE LATIT
    SAM DEP (m): WATER LEVEL (m)
    LOMT. ANA DATE:…13/12/2012
    DISCHARGE (mm3/day)
    Discharge (mm3/day).
    SAN DATE: 13/12/2012  
    Physical Properties: ODOUR ….. N
    COOR (Pi Co)……N pH…… ….. 8.3
    TURB (FTU)……..0 TASTE………N
    E COND (µs/cm) …204. S S (ppm)
    D O (ppm) ……..0  
    Aesthetical Quality in (ppm) SULFATE……….18
    TDS………………142.8 CALCIUM ….. ….29.6
    TH………………..80 MAGANESIUM….1.584
    T ALKAL……….115.8 SODIUM……… ….. 60
    EX ALKA………101.548 POTASIUM….0
    BICARBONATE ALKA…..109.8 SILICA ….. 0
    CA………………………..12 IRON ….. 0
    RBINATE ALKA………….6  
    CHLORIDE……………7.81  
    Inorganic Constituents of Health Significance in (ppm) MANGANESE.…….0
    FLUORIDE….0.17 ARSENIC……… ….. 0
    NITRATE……3.08 COPPER……………0
    NITRITE…….0.0198 LEAD……………….0
    AMMONIA ….0  
       

    Table 6. Sample location after Al bagir (2012)
    Sample Date: SERNM: 10726
    LOCAL: NORTH AL BAGAIR STATE: GEZIRA
    WATER SOURCE LATIT
    SAM DEP (m): WATER LEVEL (m)
    LOMT. ANA DATE:…13/12/2012
    DISCHARGE (mm3/day)  
    Discharge (mm3/day).
    SAN DATE: 13/12/2012
    Physical Properties: ODOUR ….. N
    COOR (Pi Co)……N pH…… ….. 7.9
    TURB (FTU)……..0 TASTE………N
    E COND (µs/cm) …223. S S (ppm)
    D O (ppm) ……..0  
    Aesthetical Quality in (ppm) SULFATE……….23
    TDS………………156.1 CALCIUM….34.4
    TH………………..106 MAGANESIUM….4.86
    T ALKAL……….134.2 SODIUM….80
    EX ALKA………138.012 POTASIUM….0
    BICARBONATE ALKA…..134.2 SILICA ….. 0
    CARBINATE ALKA…0 IRON ….. 0
    CHLORIDE…..12.07  
    Inorganic Constituents of Health Significance in (ppm) MANGANESE.…….0
    FLUORIDE….0.01 ARSENIC……… ….. 0
    NITRATE……2.64 COPPER……………0
    NITRITE…….0.033 LEAD……………….0
    AMMONIA ….0  
    Sample Date: SERNM: 10726
    LOCAL: NORTH AL BAGAIR STATE: GEZIRA
    WATER SOURCE LATIT
    SAM DEP (m): WATER LEVEL (m)
    LOMT. ANA DATE:…13/12/2012
    DISCHARGE (mm3/day)
    Discharge (mm3/day).
    SAN DATE: 13/12/2012  
    Physical Properties: ODOUR ….. N
    COOR (Pi Co)……N pH…… ….. 7.9
    TURB (FTU)……..0 TASTE………N
    E COND (µs/cm) …223. S S (ppm)
    D O (ppm) ……..0  

    Table 7. Result of water analysis (2012)
    Sample No. Parameters
    Color Oder Taste Turbidity
    1 Slight brow Sandy Tasty Turbid
    2 Slight brow Sandy Tasty Turbid
    3 Slight brow Sandy Tasty Turbid
    4 Slight brow Sandy Tasty Turbid
    5 Slight brow Bad Tasty Turbid
    6 Slight brow Sandy Tasty Turbid

    Table 8. Summary of Physical and Chemical analysis of water samples
    Sample No. Area Solidmaterials Fluoride(F) pH NO3 NO2 Talk HCO3 CO3 CL SO4 Ca Mgg/L Na NH4
    1 Arbagi 145.6 0.01 7.9 2.83 0.0330 128.0 123.0 00 08.57 80 34.4 04.86 80 0.0000
    2 Abu Frou 146.0 0.23 8.3 0.89 0.0132 115.8 109.8 06 07.81 23 28.8 11.58 80 0.0000
    3 Daeim 151.2 0.01 8.3 2.64 0.0330 152.4 146.4 00 06.39 20 29.6 03.40 80 0.0000
    4 Al jaded 144.9 0.19 8.1 2.20 0.0132 121.8 109.8 12 16.62 16 28.0 01.45 30 0.0124
    5 Buotary 142.8 0.17 8.3 3.08 0.0198 115.8 109.8 12 07.81 18 29.6 01.58 60 0.0000
    6 Alack 156.1 0.01 7.9 2.64 0.0330 134.2 134.2 00 12.07 23 34.4 04.86 80 0.0000
    Av. 114.7 0.1803 8.2 2.38 0.028 129.6 122.2 05 09.88 30 30.8 4.55 68.3 0.0020

    Results of Biological Analysis

    Sudanese Training Centre For Biotechnology

    Department Of Bacteriology

    Water Analysis

    Date: 24/12/2012

    Community: Rural area

    Sample side: Blue Nile

    Place (s): EL Hessahessa, El Gunied, and Al Bagair

    Source: Blue Nile

    Sampling: Samples were taken in sterile containers

    From the above table 8, the analyzed data from the six locations showed no variations regarding the solid substances except the sixth location (156.1). Fluoride showed high concentration in the locations 1, 2, and 4 (0.22, 2.1 and 2.3) respectively. The other parameters, particularly the Nitrate, Nitrite, Talc, Bicarbonate, carbonate, Chloride, Sulphate, calcium. Magnesium, Sodium and Ammonia showed variations in their six respective locations.

    However, based on the guidelines of World Health Organization (WHO), the concentrations of all analyzed elements are low and within the permissible water use.

    Most analysis of water from different countries showed pollution, while the Blue Nile remains with its quality.

    Conclusion and Recommendations

    Conclusion

    The study revealed spatial variations in the concentration of the analyzed elements. The concentrations are within or below the normal or fresh water, and comply with the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the pollution may be caused by turbidly and accelerated water follows during the rainy season and the flood period.

    Recommendations

    a.Provision of safe, clean drinking water to the rural communities.

    b.Campaigns for raising awareness of the rural people about the mishandling of chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides).

    c.Sanitation issues to be addressed immediately by the local authority.

    d.Further studies using air space technology is recommended.

    Appendix: Plate 1, Plate 2, Plate 3

    Plate 1. Brick industry pollution along the Blue Nile River (2012)
    Plate 1.

    Plate 2. Carrying Sugar cane wastes to Blue Nile River
    Plate 2.

    Plate 3. Water turbidity, during the rainy season. Blue Nile River (2012)
    Plate 3.

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