1.1 Background to the Study
Industrialization plays a very important role for developing nations and the disposal of its wastewaters has become a global concern as the industries are associated with the generation of high volumes of wastewaters, and limited space for land needed for the treatment including high cost of treatment technologies. In India, wastewaters from almost all the industries are being discharged untreated either on land or into the watercourses. Even at the places where some treatment facilities exist, these are not being operated properly. Resultantly, these waste waters pollute the water resources and ultimately the agriculture land (Arjun, 2013).
A wastewater is an inevitable production of industrial process. It is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as wastewater (treated or untreated) that flows out of a treatment plant, sewer or industrial outfall. Increased number of industries has enlarged the disposal of wastewater to open land or to natural water resources. Wastewater of different industries may vary in composition depending upon the source of production. Wastewater may contain essential nutrients and some toxic substances. The available macronutrients and micronutrients of wastewaters can increase soil fertility. The heavy metals and toxic components can accumulate in soil.
The various effects depend on the period of wastewater application. Metal contaminated soils can cause health problems to animals and human beings when such plants are consumed. Many investigators stated that heavy metals get accumulated in soil resulted from continuous irrigation with sewage wastewater. On the other hand the use of waste water could solve the disposal problems, minimizes the risk of public health and also prevent the ground water pollution. The use of wastewater in agriculture is gaining tremendous popularity because of the wide range of benefits that accompany it. These benefits include conservation of water, provision of reliable water supply and recycling of nutrients, thereby reducing the need for farmers to invest in chemical fertilizers.
Pollution, according to Stephen (2002) is the contamination by a chemical or other agents that render part of the environment unfit for intended or desired use. Pollution damages the earth’s land, water, and air. It results in contamination of earth’s environment with materials that interfere with human health, quality of life and natural functioning of the ecosystem. The water resource in our planet is one of the most important needs for human existence. About 2.7% of earth’s water is consumable and this is threatened by pollution. Omoleke (2004) stated that pollution is the environmental alteration due to man’s activities detrimental to most indigenous life. There are three main types of pollution; land, air, and water pollution. Land pollution is the pollution of earth’s natural land surface by industrial, commercial, domestic, agricultural activities, sewage and wastes from oil refineries. Air pollution is the accumulation of hazardous substance into the atmosphere that endanger human life and other living matter.
In many countries water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource. Due to increasing population and industrial as well as urban expansion, the production of wastewater and its reuse has grown rapidly. Rough estimates indicate that at least 20 million hectares of land in 50 countries are irrigated with raw or partially treated wastewater (Vander Hoek et al 2001)). In addition to being a valuable resource as a source of water, the major objective of wastewater use is the effective utilization of its rich stock of nutrients for agricultural and other purposes. On the other hand, wastewater use in crop production is not without some risks. The main risk associated with wastewater irrigation is infection with intestinal helminthes (Mara and CainCross 1989). Also, depending on the source of the wastewater it might contain chemical pollutants and heavy metals that can accumulate in the soil and crops thereby posing a threat to human health.
However, these risks can be greatly reduced by treating the wastewater before using it or by applying some precautions while using it. Given the high cost of freshwater in certain areas of developing countries, farmers are forced to depend on wastewater which is cheaper and more available. But there seems to be a lack of information or awareness of the effects of wastewater irrigation on crop production in these areas. Unregulated use of wastewater poses some risks to human health and the environment but the reality is that many developing countries lack the resources to build and maintain treatment facilities. And strict regulations in wastewater use -another widely promoted solution are often not enforceable. This is especially true where freshwater is scarce. Farmers therefore consider wastewater a valuable resource; and wastewater irrigation is an individual or community activity, with few or no governance structures (Levine 2000).
At present time, large amount of untreated industrial waste water is disposed into the surface of water bodies (Saleemi, 1993). In developing countries, untreated wastewater is generally disposed onto agricultural lands to establish urban cultivation around big cities (Qadir and Ghafoor, 1997). In the periphery of big cities and areas with unavailability of natural surface drains, farmers use sewage water and drainage water for crop production as it is not costly (Lone and Rizwan, 1997). Industrial waste water has quite large amount of valuable nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium (Arif and Muzaffar, 1994). So the agricultural soils of urban areas of developing countries are frequently irrigated with the city wastewaters for cultivating vegetables.
Vegetables play important roles in meeting the food requirements of people world-wide, because they are important source of various essential components i.e. minerals, dietary fibres and vitamins (Mukerji, 2004). They are also potential sources of essential nutrients, constitutes functional food components by providing protein, iron and calcium which have noticeable health effects (Arai, 2002).
Furthermore, the continuous demand for certain crops especially vegetables has increased the need to cultivate these crops all year round. This in effect leads to the dependence on wastewater during the dry seasons or during periods of drought. Also, due to the light water requirement of some crops, the use of wastewater to augment the freshwater, if any, becomes inevitable. In many areas, the few freshwater supply stations (boreholes) are owned by individuals, and the water is sold to others who cannot afford to set up one. In such a situation, poor farmers are forced to resort to a cheaper alternative – wastewater.
For the production of crops chiefly vegetables, nonstop use of untreated city wastewater may result in accumulation of metals in phytoxic amounts. The consumption of these toxic metals through affected crops and vegetables cause diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, diarrhoea, vomiting gastroenteritis, lung cancer and ulcers, hypertension, pregnancy toxemia, pigmentation of fingers and nails, impair growth, heart failure, low blood pressure, hepatic neurosis, skeletal abnormalities, bones disorderliness, myocardial infestation, dermatitis, alcopia tumor, loss of hair, depression and Parkinsonism (neurological syndrome) (Singh and Singh, 2004; Zaidi et al, 2002; Husaini, et al, 2010; Haiyan and Stuanes, 2003; Ehmann and Vance, 1996).
Vegetables especially leafy vegetables are grown in soils affected with toxic heavy metals like Nickel, Chromium, Copper, Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium and Zinc etc. Aluminum (Al) and Chromium (Cr) stresses often happen simultaneously in agricultural soils, and cause an enormous damage to crop productivity, growth and product safety (Ali, 2011). Interactive effects of aluminium and chromium stresses on the uptake of nutrients and the metals in barley. In such condition, vegetables accumulate elevated amounts of heavy metals as compared to those grown in unaffected soils because they absorb these (Nickel, Chromium, Copper, Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium and Zinc) metals through their leaves (Shaker, 2005). Soil is a major part of the natural environment, along with air and water, and is vital to the existence of life on the planet. Soil is the main stay of agriculture and horticulture, forming as it does the medium in which growth and ultimately the yield of food producing crops occurs. Soil is increasingly being recognized as playing a fundamental role in the quality and distribution of our water supply.
There is a direct impact of pollutants on minerals, organic matter and the microbial community of soil. The discharge of industrial wastewaters especially without treatment may have profound influence on physico-chemical and biological properties of soil related to soil fertility. A wealth of information on occurrence of changes in properties of soils due to discharge of wastewaters from other industries is available such as cotton ginning mill (Nagaraju et al, 2007), sugar industry (Megharaj, et al, 1999), paper mill (Nelson and Sommers, 1996), dairy industry (Nelson, 1944), and dairy wastewater (David, 2010). Thus determination of enzyme activity and microbial biomass, chemical soil parameters seems to be the best approach for evaluating the state of microbial activity. Brewery industry can achieve a wastewater discharge of 3-5 m3/m3 of sold beer (exclusive of cooling waters).Untreated wastewaters typically contain suspended solids in the range 10-60 milligrams per litre (mg/l), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in the range 1,000 1,500 mg/l, chemical oxygen demand (COD) in the range 1,800 3,000 mg/l, and nitrogen in the range of 30 – 100mg/l. Phosphorus can also be present at concentrations of the order of 10–30mg/l.
Generally, the industrial wastewater is a possible source of metals but it is still used for growing vegetables around the cities (Qadir, et al, 1998). Exposure of vegetables to these toxic metals can pose a variety of physiological and biochemical disorders These wastewaters are considered rich sources of organic matter as well as other plant nutrients (Ali, et al, 2011).
So also, soils have high quality and resilience and high carrying capacity that can absorb them but as the carrying capacity is exceeded, the soil is unable to maintain the ecosystem (Sparks, 1995; Bhatima, 2002 & Bhitoliya, 2007). Champion Breweries Plc. produces Champion Beer, Beck’s Beer and Champ Malt. It was incorporated as a private liability company in 1974 and was commissioned in 1976. Champion Breweries uses large amount of water for various processes of their products.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Every nation strives to industrialise by working towards the greatest degree of self-sufficiency within its bounds. To achieve industrialisation successfully, countries need a highly productive agricultural sector; functioning markets; stable government and conducive socio-political environment and institutional framework. Such successful industrialisation will depend to a very large extent on the degree of utilisation of locally available raw materials and other inputs, including local manpower. Industrialisation helps to create employment opportunities, a rise of national income per capita, changes in the distribution of income, changes in the domestic living and working conditions, changes in social conduct and convention and an overall significant impact on the health and stability of the economy. However, industries, the main drivers of this change, contribute to the pollution of the environment through the discharge of wastes which pose potential hazard to humans, plants and animals.
Uyo Metropolis is a densely populated urban area. The rapid urbanisation of the town is not without its attendant problems, there is visible urban decay, and urban development authorities have not been regulating effectively developmental activities. A major consequence is that industries spring up indiscriminately in many parts of the town without any regulation. Production and waste generation go on uncontrollably leading to massive pollution of both water and land resources. Champion Breweries is an example of one such industrial establishment that is perceived to be disposing of brewery wastewater without critical appraisal of environmental consequences, usually with no consideration as regards to the dangerous impact upon the receiving environment.
Champion Brewery discharges a large volume of wastewater into a deep excavated portion of land and dumps reasonable amount of solid waste such as pieces of broken bottles, metal, office scraps and many more behind its factory buildings. This wastewater discharge is in an untidy condition outside the premises of the industry around the disposal site within which people plant yam, cassava, maize, pumpkin and waterleaves. This soil is perceived to be highly biologically concentrated with heavy metals and other toxic substances which have the possibility of posing serious health challenges to man on consumption of food produced from there. Certainly, there is that possibility of consequent food poisoning and diseases such as typhoid, cholera and malaria due to the toxicity of these metals as well as prevalence of diseases causing insects. The high water retention capacity of the soil will definitely promote surface water infiltration which may transfer prevalent toxic substances to plants and contaminate the food chain as well as ground water thereby posing health problems to man who consumes products from this environment. These observations have stimulated the interest to undertake this study. Consequent upon this, this study seeks to assess the effects of these wastewaters on the environment.
1.3 Research Questions
- i) What is the composition of Champion Brewery wastewater?
- ii) How can the bacteria and fungi present in the wastewater discharged in the environment be isolated and characterised?
- iii) What are the major effects of wastewater on soil and plants growing in the waste dumpsite?
1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study was to assess the physicochemical and microbiological effects of Champion Breweries wastewater in the soil environment of Uyo Metropolis. To achieve this aim, the following objectives were set:
- i) To determine the composition of Champion Brewery wastewater;
- ii) To carry out laboratory analysis of physicochemical properties of soil and heavy metals level in the soil and plants obtained from the Champion Brewery waste water dumpsite; and
- iii) To isolate and characterise the bacteria and fungi present in the wastewater discharged into the environment.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
- i) The level of heavy metal in the soil of Champion Breweries wastes disposal sites does not significantly exceed the world permissible standards.
- ii) There is no significant difference between the isolated and characterised bacteria and fungi found in the brewery wastewater discharged and that of the environment.
- iii) The disposal of industrial wastewater from Champion Breweries does not influence the soil and plants properties (elements within their operational area).
1.6 Scope of the Study
The major focus of this study was on economic, socio-cultural and environmental effects of Champion Brewery wastewater on Nung Oku, Afaha Ikot Obio Nkan, and Aka Offot communities in the vicinity of Champion Brewery.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The availability of baseline data of pollutant indices is essential for waste management, facility monitoring and environmental regulation. The study will aid policy makers in making appropriate policies that will assist to protect the environment from industrial activities, while still encouraging industrialisation. Environmental managers will also find the study useful in the management of the environment with a view to ensuring sustainable development. Future researchers will find the study and the methodology useful and could be adopted as a basic guide for subsequent researches. The research will also help to create environmental awareness to both the government and the people. The findings and recommendations made at the end of this study will be useful to Akwa Ibom State as a whole on how to regulate industrialization.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The major challenges faced during the cause of this research were lack of cooperation and scarcity of relevant information from the management and workers of Champion Breweries. In addition, the financial aspect slightly delayed the carrying out of the laboratory analyses due to non-availability of funds on time. These limitations by gathering few information from casual workers on the dumpsites and loan facilities though very little, from cooperatives and this has helped to move this work forward to conclusion.
1.9 Structure of the Study
The research is made up of six (6) chapters. Chapter one presents an overview of the introduction made up of the background of study. This chapter includes a brief explanation of the research background and provides rationale for the selection of the research area. It also focuses on statement of problem, research questions, aims and objectives of the study, research hypotheses, scope of the study, significance of the study and limitation of the study.
Chapter two (2) constitutes study area, location, demographic setting, physical setting and socio-economic/cultural setting. Chapter three (3) addresses the review of related literature which focuses on brewery wastewater, composition of wastewater, total heterotrophic bacterial count in wastewater, characteristics of bacteria in wastewater, characteristics of fungi in wastewater, physicochemical parameters in wastewater, wastewater, chlorine and conductivity, direct and indirect effects of wastewater, effect of wastewater on the soil environment, heavy metals and their harmful effects, cadmium poison, chromium poison, zinc poison, iron poison, lead poison, cobalt poison, manganese poisoning, mercury poison, nickel poison, methods of wastewater disposal, utilization of brewery waste water/sludge as organic fertilizer, environmental policies and management methods, theoretical framework, concept of environment and pollution, pollution index (P.I.) concept, the concept of International Standards for Organisation (ISO) and environmental impact assessment.
Chapter four (4) contains research methods which addresses research designs, data requirement, population of the study, soil and plant sampling, sampling method and size, particle size analysis by the hydrometer method, determination of soil pH by glass electrode pH metre, determination of organic carbon by walkley-black wet oxidation method, total N determination by kjeldahl method both in soil and plants, available phosphorus using Bray P. I. Method, Murphy and Reily method or Blue Colorimetric, determination of exchangeable bases (Ca, Mg, Na, K) titration for exchange acidity, determination of exchange acidity NY INKCL method, physiochemical analysis of soil samples, physiochemical analysis of wastewater samples, processing of soil samples, processing of wastewater samples, bacterial isolates and identification, fungi isolate and identification, determination of total bacterial load, coliform count and fungal count, method of data presentation, methods of data analysis and ethical issues.
Chapter five (5) constitutes data presentation, analysis and discussion. Finally, chapter six (6) present the summary of the research findings, recommendation, contribution to knowledge and suggestion for further studies.