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Water Quality Assessment in the Bamoun Plateau, Western-Cameroon: Hydrogeochemical Modelling and Multivariate Statistical Analysis Approach

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Document pages: 27 pages

Abstract: This study focuses on the geochemical and bacteriological investigation of surface and ground water in the Bamoun plateau (Western-Cameroon). During the period from September 2013 to August 2014, 71 samples were collected from two springs, one borehole, four wells and the Nchi stream for analysis of major elements. In order to obtain the characteristics of the various species of bacteria, 7 samples were selected. The analytical method adopted for this study is the conventional hydrochemical technic and multivariate statistical analysis, coupled with the hydrogeochemical modelling. The results revealed that, water from the zone under study are acidic to basic, very weakly to weakly mineralized. Four types of water were identified: 1) CaMg-HCO3; 2) CaMg-Cl-SO4; 3) NaCl-SO4 and 4) NaK-HCO3. The major elements were all listed in the World Health Organization guidelines for drinking water quality, except for nitrates which was found at a concentration > 50 mg l NO-3 in the borehole F401. As for the hydrobiological aspect, the entire sample contained all the bacteriological species except for spring S301 and well P401. According to the hydrogeochemical modelling, the Gibbs model and multivariate statistical tests, the quality of surface and ground water of the Foumban locality is influenced by two important factors: 1) the natural factors characterized by the water-rock interaction, evapotranspiration crystallization, 2) the anthropogenic factors such as: uncontrolled discharges of liquid and solid effluents of all kinds and without any prior treatment within the ground and the strong urbanization accompanied by lack of sanitation and insufficient care.

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