EVALUATION OF TOTAL PETROLEUM HYDROCARBONS (TPHS) AND THE EFFECTS OF ILLEGAL BUNKERING ACTIVITIES ON OKPARE RIVER, DELTA STATE, SOUTHERN NIGERIA.
This study evaluated the total petroleum hydrocarbon concentration and the effect of illegal bunkery on Okpare River, Delta State, Southern Nigeria. A total of twenty seven (27) water samples were collected from nine different sampling point along Okpare river. The water samples were collected at three different periods in the months of April, May and June 2018. The physicochemical parameters of the water samples were assessed and all the results were within the acceptable limits, except the pH and dissolved oxygen which were slightly below the standard regulation. Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) was extracted and analysed using liquid- Liquid extraction method and Gas Chromatography- coupled with a Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID). The mean concentration obtained were as follows: 0.008 mg/l (Ekakpamre 1), 0.008mg/l, (Ekakpamre 2), 0.007mg/l (Iwhekreka), 0.071 mg/l (Oto-Edo), 0.101 mg/l (Okpre-Olomu1), 0.166 mg/l (Okpare-Olomu 2), 0.011 mg/l (Umolo-Olomu) 0.015 mg/l (Kiagbodo1) 0.005 mg/l (Kiagbodo 2).It was observed that the TPH values in thesample stations excluding that of Kiabgodo 2 surpass the allowable limit of 0.007mg/l stated by NIS and WHO for drinking water but below the standard of 0.3 mg/l for river water. It was observed that the effect of illegal bunkering on the river often results in an anoxic/hypoxic condition that could create inhospitable environment for aquatic organisms through restricting the steady supply of dissolved oxygen. Therefore, Okpare river is under threat from illegal crude oil refiners and there is need for effective monitoring and remediation measures to restore the integrity of the aquatic environment and prevent further spread of the illegal refined petroleum products.