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Groundwater for Sustainable Development 8 (2019) 450–456

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Groundwater for Sustainable Development

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/gsd

Research paper

Potential heavy metal pollution of soil and water resources from artisanal T
mining in Kokoteasua, Ghana
Ebenezer Gyamfia,∗, Emmanuel Kwame Appiah-Adjeia,b, Kwaku Amaning Adjeia
Regional Water and Environmental Sanitation Centre, Civil Engineering Department Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Geological Engineering Department, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana


Keywords: Effluents and mine waste from artisanal mining in Kokoteasua, a community in Ghana, are discharged directly to
Groundwater the environment without prior treatment and have the potential of polluting the soil and water resources that the
Artisanal mining populace rely on for their daily water need. Therefore, this study has assessed the impact of the artisanal mining
Heavy metals activities on the soil and water resources in the community. The method employed involved mapping the water
Pollution indices
supply points in the community and sampling the water supply points and the soil (at 20 cm and 40 cm depths)
to determine their heavy metal levels (i.e. Fe, Pb, Zn, As, Mn, Cu, and Hg). The water quality was assessed using
the World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline values for drinking water while pollution indices were used to
evaluate the levels of soil pollution. The results, generally, indicated that groundwater in the community is
potable but unsuitable for drinking in isolated locations due to high levels of As and Zn. The stream, however,
recorded high levels of Mn, Fe, and pH above the acceptable WHO drinking water guidelines. Again, the study
found the soil to be extremely polluted with all the measured heavy metals (except Hg) from contamination
factor, enrichment factor, geo-accumulation index and pollution load index assessments. Thus, the artisanal
mining needs to be regulated to protect the water resource and soil from further pollution.

1. Introduction and effluents at the various stages of processing the ore, which have the
potential to leach through the soil into aquifers and directly pollute
Groundwater constitutes about 97% of the available freshwater on groundwater (Johnson and Hallberg, 2005). A typical pollution of
earth and forms an important component of the water cycle (Delluer, groundwater from effluents of mine waste is reported by Obiadi et al.
1999). It serves as a source of potable water for agriculture, industry (2016) at a coal mine in the Enugu area of Nigeria, which contaminated
and domestic use as well as in helping to maintain soil moisture, wet- surface water and shallow groundwater with high levels of acidity, iron,
lands and stream flows in many parts of the world (Oladeji et al., 2012). and sulphate. Studies by Mallo (2011) also found that effluents from
Qiu (2010) estimated that groundwater constitutes about 70% and 40% mines usually have very low pH, which causes acid mine drainage and
of the total water resources used respectively for domestic and irriga- ends up in water bodies including groundwater. Oladipo et al. (2014),
tion purposes in China. Nickson et al. (2005) also estimated that about similarly, found evidence of heavy metal contamination of groundwater
one-third of global population depend on groundwater as their source as a result of illegal mining activities in Zamfara State, Nigeria.
of potable water. Ghana is known to be one of the major gold producers globally, and
In Ghana, groundwater serves as the main source of sustainable the mining sector is believed to contribute significantly to the gross
water supply for the populace living in rural communities and emerging foreign earnings of the country. Artisanal gold mining has been on the
communities in the urban areas (Duah and Xu, 2006). Groundwater of increase in the country and it is said to be a major contributor of metals
good quality is very important to these communities because it is their in water resources due to indiscriminate use of Mercury (Hg) and other
main source of potable water for drinking and domestic purposes. harmful chemicals in the mining activities (Donkor et al., 2006).
Commonly, anthropogenic activities such as farming, indiscriminate Globally, small-scale mining is noted to be a major contributor to the
waste disposal and mining among others significantly influence pollution of water resources because it makes use of huge volumes of
groundwater quality either directly or indirectly (Teaf et al., 2006). For water thereby polluting the water resources (Cunningham et al., 2005;
instance, mining activities generate waste such as waste rock, tailings Owens et al., 2005). Most artisanal mining operators have no

Corresponding author.
E-mail address: gyamfiebenezer@ymail.com (E. Gyamfi).

Received 26 July 2018; Received in revised form 24 December 2018; Accepted 21 January 2019
Available online 02 February 2019
2352-801X/ © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
E. Gyamfi et al. Groundwater for Sustainable Development 8 (2019) 450–456

concession of their own and, thus, operates illegally. Therefore, their pyroclastic rocks, which are also associated with the hornblende-rich
operations are naturally furtive and clandestine, thereby operating ‘belt-type’ Granitoid (Kesse, 1985; Nude et al., 2012). High-sulphide
uncontrollably within the concessions of large-scale mining companies type Gold mineralization constitutes the gold ore in the area while
or in areas that are prohibited from mining such as around forest re- pyrites and arsenopyrites are the pathfinders (Osae et al., 1995). The
serves, water bodies or environmentally sensitive areas (Appiah, 1998). mineralization has Fe, As, Pd, Sb, Cu, Zn, S and Au as the key geo-
As a result, their operations are often not regulated leading to the use of chemical signatures, and are used to classify the ore (Oberthu et al.,
unsafe chemicals in extracting the gold. These chemicals are usually 1994). Gold mineralization in the area is structurally controlled.
discharged uncontrollably into the ecosystem (Meech et al., 1998) and
leads to contamination of the environment. 2.2. Mapping and sampling
Several methods have been used to analyze the quality of soil and
water at places with significant mining activities. Awadh (2013) used Water supply points in the community including boreholes, hand-
the geo-accumulation (Igeo) index to assess soil contamination in such dug wells, springs, and stream were mapped with the aid of a
an area by comparing the heavy metal concentrations to their crustal Geographic Position System (GPS). These supply points were plotted on
levels and found that the concentrations in the soil were above the the topographic map of the area and further used in creating a buffer
crustal levels; thus, signifying that the soil has been contaminated. map to show the number of supply points within 100 m, 200 m, 300 m
Likuku et al. (2013), on the other hand, used enrichment factor, pol- and beyond 400 m radius from the active mining area based on gov-
lution load index, the degree of contamination and geo-accumulation ernment regulation on minimum required distance from active mining
index to evaluate heavy metal concentration in the soils. Again, to water points. The drainage map was also used to determine the flow
Boateng et al. (2012) used geo-accumulation index, pollution load direction and its linkage to the mineral processing sites where effluents
index and contamination factor to assess the geochemical impact on the are discharged directly to the stream; it as well aided in planning the
soil quality of a reclaimed tailings dam. sampling points for the study shown in Fig. 1.
In analysing the water quality in such environments, the World The samples were taken at the upstream, downstream and close to
Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for assessing suitability of the active mining and processing zones in the study area to evaluate the
drinking water (WHO, 2011) are commonly utilised. For instance, quality of the water resources and soil around the active mining and
Oladipo et al. (2014) analysed the concentration of heavy metals in processing areas where effluents are directly discharged to the en-
groundwater at Zamfara State, Nigeria, by comparing the measured vironment. The samples upstream were mainly to serve as control
parameters in the groundwater samples with the WHO guideline values points. In total, fourteen (14) water samples were taken within the
and water quality standards from the Federal Environmental Protection study area from fourteen (14) sampling points on two occasions; i.e. in
Agency, Nigeria (1998). Similarly, Abdul-Rahaman et al. (2014) ana- April (prior to the rainy season) and November (after rainy season). The
lysed possible groundwater contamination in a mining community in sampling points included six (6) from boreholes, two (2) from hand-dug
Ghana by determining the concentration of heavy metals in the water wells, two (2) from springs, one (1) from a pit at the artisanal mining
and comparing them with the WHO guideline values for drinking water. site where groundwater is pumped out and three (3) from the stream.
In recent times, artisanal mining has been on the rise in Kokoteasua, The water samples were acidified with nitric acid (HNO3) to keep it in
a community within the Obuasi Municipality in Ghana. Unfortunately, oxidation state and set the pH of both the samples and standards equal.
the waste rock, tailings and effluents from the mining activities are The sampling, storage and transportation of the water to the laboratory
directly discharged into the environment and stream in the area. These were done following standard protocols (APHA, 1995) to ensure con-
have the potential of polluting the surface water and shallow aquifers sistency and data quality. In addition, twenty (20) soil samples were
that the populace relies on as their main source of water supply and, taken from ten (10) different locations at depths of 20 cm and 40 cm
thus, pose a serious threat to their health if not curbed. Therefore, this with the aid of a hand augur for the study (Fig. 1). These soil samples
study aims to assess the effect of artisanal mining on the quality of soil were put in plastic bags and sent to the laboratory for measurement of
and water resources in a typical artisanal community using Kokoteasua their heavy metal concentrations.
as a case study.
2.3. Laboratory analysis and pollution indices
2. Methodology
In drinking water quality assessments, priority is usually given to
2.1. Study area description parameters which are known to be of concern to human health and
potability when present in significant concentrations in the water
Kokoteasua (KTS), shown in Fig. 1, is a suburb of Obuasi Munici- source (Ponsadailakshmi et al., 2018). Therefore, heavy metals (i.e. Fe,
pality and is located in the southern part of Ashanti Region of Ghana at Pb, Zn, As, Cu, Mn, and Hg) in both the water and soil samples were
about 64 km from Kumasi. measured in the laboratory using the ICP-OES analyzer following
The municipality is bounded to the east by the Adansi South standard procedures (McComb et al., 2014). The ICP was first in-
District, west by Amansie Central District, north by the Adansi North itialized and the plasma allowed to stabilize for 15 min. Tuning was
District and south by Upper Denkyira District of Central Region then done to determine if the ICP is in good condition to start analysing
(Bempah et al., 2013). It is, precisely, located within latitudes 1°39′54″ samples. To achieve this, the tuning solution was first analysed and the
to 1°40′18″ W and longitudes 6°12′54″ to 6°12′34″ N. intensities observed by the instruments were monitored against the
The topography of the area is gently undulating to hilly. Annual expected intensities of the tuning solution. The instrument was tuned
rainfall in the area ranges from 1250 mm to 1750 mm whereas the using a 10 ppb solution, which contains Li, Pb, Tl, and Y. The instru-
mean annual temperature is 25.5 °C with relative humidity peaking ment was calibrated before analysing the samples with a blank and
between 75% and 80% (Boateng et al., 2012). The area is underlained appropriate calibration standard. Calibration standards of 1, 10, 50 and
by meta-sedimentary and meta-volcanic rocks of the Birimian forma- 100 ppb were used to calibrate the instrument and only R2 above 0.999
tion (Kesse, 1985; Nude et al., 2012). The meta-sedimentary rocks oc- was accepted. The calibration was verified with a 10 ppb and 50 ppb
cupy the north-western half of the area and comprise low-grade me- standard followed by the analysis of the samples with appropriate in-
tamorphosed rocks that are associated with mica-rich ‘basin’ type ternal standard (i.e. Sc, Ge, In, Rh, Tb, Lu and Ir).
Granitoid (Kesse, 1985; Nude et al., 2011). The meta-volcanic group is The measured concentration of the heavy metals in the water
separated from the meta-sedimentary group by the main Obuasi mi- samples were compared with the WHO guideline values for drinking
neralized shear zone and is dominated by basalts intercalated with water (WHO, 2011). However, pollution indices such as the

E. Gyamfi et al. Groundwater for Sustainable Development 8 (2019) 450–456

Fig. 1. The Kokoteasua area in Ghana with the study sampling points.

Contamination factor (CF), Enrichment Factor (EF), Geo-accumulation Table 1

index (Igeo) and Pollution Load Index (PLI) were used to evaluate the Classes of pollution indices on (a) CF (b) EF and (c) Igeo.
metal pollution of the heavy metal concentrations in the soil. These Class EF Values Soil Quality
indices helped in assessing the presence and intensities of anthro-
pogenic contaminants in the surface soil. 0 <2 Depletion to minimal enrichment
1 2–5 Moderate enrichment
The contamination factor (CF), as expressed in equation (1), is the
2 5–20 Significant enrichment
ratio of the measured concentration of an element to the background 3 20–40 Very high enrichment
concentration of that same element, and represents the individual im- 6 > 40 Extremely high enrichment
pact of each trace metal on the sediments (Olatunji et al., 2009). It was
used to evalute the level of contamination of the measured parameters Class Igeo Value Soil Quality
in the soil. Mathematically, the CF is expressed as:
0 <0 Unpolluted
Cm 1 0–1 Unpolluted to moderately polluted
CF = 2 1–2 Moderately polluted
Cb (1)
3 2–3 Moderately to heavily polluted
4 3–4 Heavily polluted
where Cm is the measured concentration of the element and Cb is the
5 4–5 Heavily to extremely polluted
background concentration of that same element. The Martin and 6 >5 Extremely polluted
Meybeck classification (shown in Table 1a) was used to classify the
degree of heavy metal contamination of the soil. CF Contamination Levels

The enrichment factor (EF), which is also used to evaluate the an- Cf < 1 Low contamination
thropogenic effect on the soil by computing the difference between 1 ≤ Cf < 3 Moderate contamination
metals from anthropogenic source and that of a geogenic source (Buat- 3 < Cf < 6 Considerate contamination
Menard and Chesselet, 1979; Ismaeel and Kusag, 2012), was used to Cf > 6 Very high contamination
evaluate how the soil is enriched with the measured parameters. In
computing the EF, Al was used as a reference element to standardize the heavy metal contamination in sediments by comparing the present
heavy metal concentration (Taylor, 1964). Mathematically, EF is com- concentration with previous times when there were little or no in-
puted using the relation in equation (2): dustrial activities. It was computed as:
Cm Cmref Cn
EF = / Igeo = log 2
Cb Cbref (2) 1.5Bn (3)
Where Cm is the measured concentration of the element and Cb is where Cn is the measured concentration in mg kg of the metal and Bn
background concentration of the measured element. Cmref is the is the geochemical background value of the metal in mg kg−1. Due to
measured concentration of the reference element while Cbref is the the conceivable variations in the background values, the factor 1.5 was
background concentration of the reference element. The Buat-Menard used for small anthropogenic impact on a given metal in the environ-
and Chesselet (1979) classification shown in Table 1b was used to ment. Muller's classification shown in Table 1c was used to classify the
classify the level of enrichment of the soil. Geo-accumulation index pollution of the soil based on the computed Igeo values.
(Igeo), as expressed in equation (3) was further used to characterize the The pollution load index (PLI) was also used in this study to

E. Gyamfi et al. Groundwater for Sustainable Development 8 (2019) 450–456

Table 2 gold from the concentrated ore in the area. This may be because the Hg
Methods used for analysing the physicochemical parameters. is scooped for reuse several times, by the miners, till it is used up before
Parameters Standard Methods the effluents are discharged to the environment.
Fig. 3(a) shows the computed Igeo values and indicate that, based
pH Probe Method on Muller (1969), the soil is extremely polluted with all the analysed
Conductivity and Total Dissolved Probe Method Sension 5 (Hach)
heavy metals since all the Igeo values were greater than 5. The com-
Total Suspended Solids Photometric Method 8006 (Non-Filterable
puted EF (Fig. 3(b)) also showed that the soil is moderately enriched
Residue) with Mn, significantly enriched with Cu, Fe, and Zn, very highly en-
Alkalinity Titration Method 2320B riched with Pb and extremely enriched with As based on the Buat-
Turbidity Absorptometric Method 8237 (FAU) Menard and Chesselet (1979) scheme. The high As concentration in the
Colour APHA PlatinumeCobalt Standard Method
area conform to work done by Nude et al. (2011) in the Obuasi mu-
Fluoride 4500-F- D SPADNS Method 8029 nicipality. Again, the As enrichment in soils within 200 m radius is
Chloride 4500-Cl- B Argentometric Method higher as compared to the soils beyond 200 m radius.
Sulphide 4500-S2- F Iodometric Method The CF for Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn, based on Martin and Meybeck (1979)
Nitrate AOAC Official Method 973.50
classification scheme, were low in the soil (Fig. 3(c)) since they were
Salinity 2520 B Electrical Conductivity Method
Phosphorus (Total) 4500-P E. Ascorbic Method
less than 1. However, the soil was moderately and highly contaminated
Sulphate 4500-SO42- E. Turbidimetric Method with Pb and As respectively. The high CF values for As conforms to
Biochemical Oxygen Demand 5210 B 5-Day BOD Test work done by Boateng et al. (2012) in Obuasi area and is due to its
(BOD) association with the ore mined in the study area. Thus, its contamina-
tion of the soil could be due its rapid weathering from exposure of the
ore to the environment through the mining activities. The As con-
measure the level of contamination of the soil. The PLI for a single site
centration was higher at the depth of 20 cm than the 40 cm depth.
is the nth root of not less than 5 contamination factors (CF) as expressed
Likewise, the CF of the metals were far higher at the depth of 20 cm in
in equation (4). The contamination factors represent the individual
comparison to the 40 cm depth.
impact of each trace metal on the sediments. The PLI was computed for
The PLI values for both depths of investigations for all the heavy
the soil at 20 cm and 40 cm depths. Mathematically, the PLI proposed
metals, except As, were below 1 and denotes perfection (Tomlinson
by Tomlinson et al. (1980) is given as:
et al., 1980). However, the PLI for As in the soil at both the 20 cm and
1 40 cm depths were above 1 and showed that the soil quality is dete-
PLI = (CF 1 ∗ CF 2 ∗ CF 3 ∗ ⋯ ∗ CFn ) n (4)
riorated with high levels of As; this seems to be in conformity with
where, CF = Contamination factors and n = the number of con- studies by Boateng et al. (2012). Generally, the level of pollution of the
tamination factors and sites respectively. PLI < 1 denotes perfection, soil in the study area decreased with depth as well as away from the
PLI = 1 means only baseline levels of pollutants are present and active mining site.
PLI > 1 indicates deterioration of site quality (Tomlinson et al., 1980).
On the other hand, Table 2 shows the various standard methods used 3.3. Water quality
for analysing the physicochemical parameters.
Table 3 shows the physicochemical parameters measured during the
3. Results and discussions two sampling seasons. Generally, all the measured physicochemical
parameters (i.e. temperature, true colour, salinity, total hardness,
3.1. Groundwater supply points conductivity, TDS, fluoride, nitrate, chloride, sulphate, phosphorus and
sulphide) were all within the acceptable WHO guideline values for
Overall, six (6) boreholes, two (2) hand-dug wells, two (2) springs, a drinking water except pH, turbidity, total suspended solids (TSS) and
stream and pumped water from the pits were mapped in the study area alkalinity. Also, there was generally no significant variation in the
as shown on Fig. 2. The water in the community is mainly for drinking concentration of the parameters in the November and April periods.
and other domestic purposes such as washing and bathing. As shown on The pH ranged from 5.6 to 7.6 in November and 5.8 to 6.9 in April
Fig. 2, two (2) of the groundwater supply points are located within a with about 47% and 65%, respectively, of the samples below the lower
100 m buffer radius from the artisanal mining site whereas five (5) and limit of the permissible guideline values for drinking water (WHO,
seven (7) are within the buffer radii of 200 m and 300 m respectively. 2011), which indicates that the water in the community is slightly
All the groundwater supply points are, however, within a 400 m radial acidic. This is consistent with the slightly acidic pH of water in mining
distance. According to government regulations (MWRWH, 2011), there communities of the country from similar studies (Bhattacharya et al.,
should be a 100 m minimum buffer distance between a mining activity 2012; Ewusi et al., 2017; Dorleku et al., 2018) and may be due to the
and a source of drinking water. Thus, the chemicals used in the blasting release of mine waste and chemicals used in extracting and processing
and processing of the mined ore pose a direct risk to the quality of the the ore into the environment. Similarly, the turbidity, TSS, and alkali-
four groundwater supply points located within 100 m radius of the nity values ranged from 0 to 24 mg/l, 100–470 mg/l and 0–25 NTU
mining site. respectively with about 18%, 53% and 18% respectively of them above
the acceptable WHO (2011) guideline values for drinking water. The
3.2. Heavy metal pollution of soil turbidity issues were mainly associated with the stream water close to
the processing site and extreme downstream of the processing site.
The concentrations of the heavy metals Cu, Pb, Zn, Mn, As and Fe in Table 4 shows the concentration of heavy metals in the water
the soil ranged from 10.1 to 36 mg/kg, 6.5–42.5 mg/kg, 16.4–95.8 mg/ samples in both November and April sampling months. Generally,
kg, 43.0–595.5 mg/kg, 55.2–1200 mg/kg and 6570.9–49,558.1 mg/kg, heavy metals of varying concentrations were detected in the various
respectively, and generally decreased with depth. These concentrations water samples in the study area, especially in the hand-dug wells and
were similar to values obtained in the Obuasi area by previous re- boreholes, but they did not vary significantly over the months. A
searchers (Antwi-Agyei et al., 2009; Boateng et al., 2012) who in- comparison of the concentration of the heavy metals As, Cu, Pb, and Zn
vestigated the soil up to a depth of 50 cm. Hg, on the other hand, was with the WHO (2011) guideline values for drinking water showed most
very low (below the detectable limit of < 0.0001 mg/kg) in the soil of the metals were below detectable limits (DL). Nonetheless, they
although it is the chemical used by the artisanal miners in extracting could still be present in the water, albeit in very low concentrations,

E. Gyamfi et al. Groundwater for Sustainable Development 8 (2019) 450–456

Fig. 2. Buffer zones for water supply points to the mining site in the study area.

Fig. 3. Computed (a) Igeo, (b) EF and (c) CF in the soil at 20 cm and 40 cm depths (Note: As values in (b) and (c) are × 102).

Table 3
Chemical parameters for the two sampling seasons.
Parameter NOVEMBER APRIL WHO Guideline Values

Min Max Mean SD % outside W H O Values Min Max Mean SD % outside W H O Values

pH 5.6 7.6 6.5 0.6 47.1 5.8 6.9 6.4 0.4 64.7 6.5–8.5
Cl− 1.9 141 20.6 31 – 1.7 20.7 11.3 4.3 – 250
HCO3− 65.9 573 312 177 – 1.2 124 63.4 40 – 600
Na+ 0.1 573 47.4 136 – 1.5 27.2 11.0 5.7 – 200
K+ 0.1 88.0 10.0 21 23.6 0.3 4.3 1.1 0.9 – 12
PO42- 0.1 6.9 0.9 2.1 – 0.2 0.3 0.1 0.1 – –
SO42- 0.1 43.0 12.3 14 – 0.8 19.8 6.1 5.6 – 250
Ca2+ 0.1 27.0 5.7 8.7 – 1.8 37.2 12.1 11 – 75
Mg2+ 0.1 17.0 2.9 4.9 – 1.8 16.7 4.6 3.5 – 100

E. Gyamfi et al. Groundwater for Sustainable Development 8 (2019) 450–456

Table 4
Heavy metals concentration (mg/l) in the water samples in both sampling seasons.
ID November April

As Cu Fe Mn Pb Zn As Cu Fe Mn Pb Zn

SP1 < 0.05 < 0.02 < 0.1 < 0.02 < 0.02 < 0.05 < 0.05 < 0.02 < 0.1 0.17 < 0.02 < 0.05
SP2 < 0.05 < 0.02 < 0.1 < 0.02 < 0.02 < 0.05 < 0.05 0.03 < 0.1 0.02 < 0.02 < 0.05
BH1 < 0.05 < 0.02 < 0.1 < 0.02 < 0.02 < 0.05 < 0.05 0.24 < 0.1 < 0.02 < 0.02 < 0.05
BH2 < 0.05 < 0.02 < 0.1 0.05 < 0.02 < 0.05 < 0.05 0.36 < 0.1 0.13 < 0.02 < 0.05
BH3 < 0.05 0.02 < 0.1 < 0.02 < 0.02 < 0.05 < 0.05 0.06 < 0.1 0.16 < 0.02 < 0.05
BH4 < 0.05 < 0.02 < 0.1 0.05 < 0.02 < 0.05 < 0.05 0.05 < 0.1 0.05 < 0.02 0.09
BH5 < 0.05 0.02 < 0.1 0.20 < 0.02 < 0.05 < 0.05 0.02 < 0.1 0.02 < 0.02 < 0.05
BH6 < 0.05 < 0.02 0.3 < 0.02 < 0.02 0.06 < 0.05 0.08 0.23 0.08 < 0.02 0.11
HDW1 < 0.05 < 0.02 < 0.1 < 0.02 < 0.02 < 0.05 < 0.05 < 0.02 < 0.1 0.09 < 0.02 < 0.05
HDW2 0.06 < 0.02 0.15 0.21 < 0.02 < 0.05 0.06 < 0.02 0.92 0.06 < 0.02 < 0.05
STS1 < 0.05 < 0.02 1.30 0.05 < 0.02 < 0.05 < 0.05 < 0.02 0.62 0.08 < 0.02 < 0.05
STS2 < 0.05 < 0.02 4.19 5.31 < 0.02 < 0.05 < 0.05 0.21 0.98 0.13 0.05 < 0.05
STS3 0.21 < 0.02 4.02 3.48 < 0.02 < 0.05 0.06 0.32 0.53 0.19 0.03 < 0.05
DL 0.05 0.02 0.1 0.02 0.02 0.05 0.05 0.02 0.1 0.02 0.02 0.05
WHO 0.01 1.0 0.3 0.5 0.01 0.01 0.01 1.0 0.3 0.5 0.01 0.01

since the DL were above the permissible limits for drinking water. There Sanitation Centre, Kumasi for supporting this research through their
were, however, isolated cases where the levels of As, Pb and Zn were ACE World Bank Project under Grant Number IDA 54230-GH. The
above the guidelines for drinking water (WHO, 2011) in locations authors also acknowledge the useful comments and suggestions of the
downstream of the processing site in both sampling months. anonymous reviewers, which helped to improve the paper.
Similarly, the concentrations of Fe and Mn in the stream were
mostly above the acceptable guidelines for drinking (WHO, 2011) and Appendix A. Supplementary data
decreased away from the processing site in both November and April.
This was not surprising since the water pumped directly from the mine Supplementary data to this article can be found online at https://
pits into the stream during mining contained extremely high levels of Fe doi.org/10.1016/j.gsd.2019.01.007.
and Mn above the permissible levels for drinking. These two metals are
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