Affum A.O.,Ghana Atomic Energy Commission |
Dede S.O.,Ghana Atomic Energy Commission |
Nyarko B.J.B.,Ghana Atomic Energy Commission |
Acquaah S.O.,University of Ghana |
And 5 more authors.
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2016
A preliminary assessment of toxic element pollution caused by artisanal and small-scale gold mining in the Bonsa river of Ghana as well as the influence of TOC and SO4 2− concentration on these traces in the sediment has been determined. With the exception of mercury (Hg), manganese (Mn), and arsenic (As), the concentration of aluminum (Al) in filtered river water exceeded the WHO guideline limit of 0.1 mg L−1 in drinking water. Analyses of toxic element in sediment using Canadian Sediment Quality Criteria, contamination factor, geoaccumulation index, and enrichment factor indicate that river sediment is severely contaminated with Hg confirming the negative impact of the amalgamation technique in gold beneficiation in Ghana. The level of Hg in the surface water exceeded reported values from some rivers in Africa, Asia, and South America. The ranking order of the mean element concentration in both matrices followed the conservative order of traces found in the Earth crust except copper, which was below the detection limit of 0.01 mg kg−1. A Pearson correlation matrix of the toxic element and geology of the river bedrock indicates that the Hg contamination is of anthropogenic origin whilst As, Mn, and Al are the result of natural enrichment. The partitioning of elements in the sediment compartments is independent of TOC and SO4 2− concentration. Health-risk assessment based on average daily dose, hazard quotient, and cancer risk indicates that Hg is a health risk to the human population. In conclusion, the study has shown that there is a likely anthropic affection of the river and that this situation has worsened since earlier studies. In order to sustain aquatic life and to prevent future human health hazard, an immediate mercury remediation in the river is recommended. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Keelson K.B.,KAAF University College
International Journal of Engineering and Technology Innovation | Year: 2015
Uncontrolled leachate generation from operational and closed waste disposal sites is a major environmental concern in the coastal regions of Ghana which have abundant surface water and groundwater resources. The Ghana Landfill Guidelines requires the provision of a final cover or capping system as part of a final closure plan for waste disposal sites in the country as a means of minimizing the harmful environmental effects of these emissions. However, this technical manual does not provide explicit guidance on the material types or configuration for landfill covers that would be suitable for the different climatic conditions in the country. Four landfill cover options which are based on the USEPA RCRA-type and evapotranspirative landfill cover design specifications were evaluated with the aid of the HELP computer program to determine their suitability for waste disposal sites located in the Western, Central and Greater Accra regions. The RCRA Subtitle C cover which yielded flux rates of less than 0.001 mm/yr was found to be suitable for the specific climatic conditions. The RCRA Subtitle D cover was determined to be unsuitable due to the production of very large flux rates in excess of 200 mm/yr. The results for the anisotropic barrier and capillary barrier covers were inconclusive. Recommendations for further study include a longer simulation period as well the study of the combined effects of different topsoil vegetative conditions and evaporative zone depths on the landfill water balance. The use of other water balance models such as EPIC, HYDRUS-2D and UNSAT-H for the evaluation of the evapotranspirative landfill cover design options should also be considered. © TAETI.
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