The general properties and overall chemical quality for potability of groundwater in Ahafo-Ano South District of the Ashanti Region of Ghana have been evaluated. With respect to pH, about 92% of groundwaters were potable while 8% were acidic and not potable. Approximately 4%, 32%, 56% and 8% of sampled groundwater were soft, moderately soft, hard and very hard respectively. The overall chemical quality analysis of groundwaters showed that 20%, 28%, 40%, 4% and 8% had excellent, good, poor, very poor and unsuitable drinking water qualities respectively. Approximately 12%, 40% and 84% of As, Ni and Pb exceeded their respective WHO limits while 32% of Cd and Fe exceeded their respective limits for potable water. These higher concentrations of heavy metals were observed to have occurred in communities with intensive illegal gold mining operations. Inhabitants in these areas could potentially be more predisposed to potential health hazards including cancer, nervous system damage, low IQ in children, reduced growth of foetus and premature birth in pregnant women, and kidney damage. It is expected that illegal artisanal gold mining activities will be banned while policies aimed at providing alternative livelihood be instituted to minimize any potential health hazards on humans in the District.
Part of the book: Water Quality