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In Nigeria, the reliance on sanitary landfills is a common phenomenon in the disposal of solid waste materials. Lack of capital and appropriate technology for environmentally friendly waste management practices has left most places like Lagos ‘megapolitan’ in Nigeria to rely of landfills for solid waste disposal. And in most cases the landfills are not properly engineered and operated to accepted world standards. The study presents the measurement and analysis of the water samples were collected from two major dumpsites in Lagos, the Olusosun and Solous dumpsites and adjoining areas. Findings revealed samples from Solous dumpsite did not confirm pollution from leachates thereby suggesting that the water from the nearby wells is portable and can be used consumed. On the other hand, analysis of water samples from Olusosun dumpsite and surrounding areas confirmed the presence of feacal coliforms during microbiological analyses, suggesting that the water sample collected from Olusosun is not suitable for consumption. Invariable samples collected from Olusosun dumpsite and adjoining areas should undergo further treatment before consumption due to the presence of other microorganisms.



This chapter introduces what solid wastes are all about including its quality and effects on underground water. Solid wastes commonly known as trashes or garbages are wastes consisting of everyday items we consume and discard.
It predominantly includes food wastes, yard wastes, containers, product packaging, and other miscellaneous inorganic wastes from residential, commercial, institutional and industrial resources. While underground water is the water found beneath the soil.  Underground water occurs as a result of rain fall entering into the soil surface. It may also occur as a result of percolation from surface water into the soil. When rain falls to the ground, the water does stop, some flow along the surface  to the streams or lakes, while  some are used by plants, some evaporate and return to the atmosphere while some sink into the ground . When pouring a glass of water into a pile of sand, it is obvious that the water will move into the space between particles of sand. Scientifically, groundwater is found in the cracks and spaces in the soil, sand and rock. It moves slowly through layers of soil, sand and rock called aquifers. Aquifers typically consist of gravel, sand, stone or fractured rock, like lime stone. These particles are permeable because the large connected spaces that allow water to flow through the speed at which ground water flows depends on the size of spaces in the soil or rock and how well the spaces are connected. The area where water full aquifer is called the saturated zone (or saturation zone). The top of the zone is called the water table. The water table may be located either a meter below the ground surface or it consists of thirty meter down. Groundwater can be found almost everywhere. The water table may be deep or shallow and may rise or fall depending on many factors. Heavy rains or melting snow can cause the water table to rise or heavy pumping groundwater supplies may cause the water table to fall. Water in aquifers is brought to the surface naturally through spring can or be discharged into lakes or streams. Groundwater can also be extracted well drilled into aquifers. A well is a pipe in the ground that fuse with groundwater. The water can be brought to the surface by a pump. Some wells called artesian wells, do not need a pump because of natural pressure that forces water up and out of the well. Groundwater supplies are replenished or recharged by rain and snow melt. In some areas of the world, people face serious shortages of water because groundwater is used faster than it is naturally replenished or recharged. If ground becomes polluted, it will no longer be safe to drink.  Groundwater is used for drinking water by more than 50% of the people. In the United States including almost everyone who lives in rural areas it is important for all of us to learn how to protect our groundwater because of its importance as a source of water for drinking and irrigation.

In other areas groundwater is polluted by human activities, in areas where material above the aquifer is permeable, pollutant can be easily sunk into the groundwater. Ground-water can be polluted by landfills, septic tanks, leaking underground gas tanks, and from over use of residual single and multi-dwellings, food wastes, wood, papers, cardboards, textile leather, yard wastes, wood, glass, metals, ashes, special wastes (e.g bulky items, tyres) and household are hazardous wastes. Industrial light and heavy manufacturing, fabrications, power and chemicals and plants, housekeeping wastes, packaging, food wastes, construction and demolition materials, ashes are specials wastes. In other words wastes from hotels, restaurants, markets, office building( paper, card board, food, plastic, glass metals), institutional schools, hospitals, prisons, government centres, heavy and light manufacturing refineries, chemical plant, mineral extraction, industrial scrap materials, municipal services, street cleaning , land scraping, parks bleaching, recreational areas, water and wastes water management plant contribute immensely to the contamination of groundwater and they  are the most common sources of wastes generation. It is noted that solid wastes have a great effect on the quality of underground water as a result of percolation, infilteration, leachate and dis-integration of wastes material by the action of rainfall into the ground.   


The problem of solid wastes and its effect on the quality of underground water is now the focus of attention all over the world.The problem of waste generation in the country in the recent past had been quite tremendous, necessitating the need for this project. In fact, the presence of wastes scattered all over cities and towns and even in our institutions of higher learning is a threat to health and embarrassment to the pleasant standard expected of these areas. The menace of solid waste generation is most prominent in developed and industrialized countries; this is because complexity of generated waste is directly proportional to development in science and technology. Construction and operation of land filling material, recovery system, and incineration systems have become very costly. It is noteworthy that the urban populace generates more wastes than the rural areas. This is because of the various forms of commercial and industrial activities going on in cities and which have brought an increase in the volume and diversity of waste generated daily in the country.  These have some great effects on underground water consumption (borehole and well).

It is therefore believed that in consumption of underground water such as bore hole and well water, certain tests are needed to be carried out before consumption in regulation with the principles of World Health Organization. These tests are:

1.     PH Test

2.     Total caliform  test

3.     Test for nitrate [No3-N]

4.     Aerobic and sulphate reducing bacteria.

These tests are the most important tests carried out to know the physical, chemical and biological effects of solid wastes on underground water before it could be suitable for consumption. In additional, wastes are such items which people are required to discard. It can be defined as unavoidable material resulting from an activity which has no immediate economic demand and must be disposed. Items such as household rubbish, sewage sludge, waste from manufacturing can give to a large variety of different wastes from different sources. Wastes are generated every day in all parts of the world (Oluwande 1973). This mainly made up of waste coming from household, commercial activities (e.g shops, restaurant, hospital), industry (e.g pharmaceutical companies, clothes manufacturers e.t.c), agriculture (slurry) construction and demolition projects, mining and quarrying activities and from the generation of energy. With such vast quantities of wastes being produced, It is of vital importance that it is managed in such a way that does not cause any harm to either human health or to the environment.


(i) To know the physical, chemical and biological effect of solid wastes on underground water and determine the amount of wastes within the study areas.
(ii) To determine whether the water pollutions have dangerous effect on the people and animals in the areas of study environment. 


1. To prevent all individuals, relevant organizations, researchers from drinking underground water that is much close to dumping areas in order to avoid deadly diseases.
2. To inform the people on the hazard and result of wastes on their health from drinking underground water especially those that are very close to the dumping areas in other to prevent untimely death.

3. To educate people on the negative effects of water pollution on health


This research was carried out in Lagos State. In Lagos state, different wells were examined both in dry season and rainy season especially those that are very close to the dumping areas. The difficulty encountered during the course of this project was my inabilities to perform some tests which are very expensive. This was due to the fact that it required  initial fund to carry them out.

1.5     Research Questions

The reliance on the underground water reservoirs did not assume so much importance, until the introduction of Federal Government Borehole Water Programme with the result that there is a heavy dependence on ground water resources all over the country. Ironically little is known about the quality of groundwater nationwide. Also studies in sources of groundwater contamination and pollution are scanty. It is against this background that the present study is exploring:

(1)               Traces of heavy metals e.g. lead, mercury, cadmium, etc. in ground water 500 meters square of Olusosun Landfills.

(2)               To compare the quality of ground water 500 meters square of Olusosun landfills with that of Shagari Estate (A Zone) Ipaja Road.

(3)               To ascertain if the quality of underground water of both areas is in consonance with WHO water quality standards.

(4)               To determine the level of leachates contamination of ground water resources within the vicinity of Olusosun landfill

1.6     Significance of the Study

The quality of environment can be expressed in terms of the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the house we live as well as the non-contamination of our beautiful environment through sustainable living. No doubt, the antithesis of this is the unwholesome dumping of unsorted and untreated waste material into landfills and wide spaces in the ground. Landfills are supposed to be sited away from residence because of the inherent environmental nuisance and poor aesthetic value associated with its operation. But in Lagos, landfills are virtually sharing fences with residential houses. Because of many toxic materials or pollutants released by leachates into the groundwater which are not readily removable by the conventional water treatment process. It is essential to carry out an intensive study at monitory the nature and extent of such pollution on ground water quality. Such study will among other things, help to produce data that will be useful in the:

(a)               Siting and construction of sanitary landfills. Particularly in rapidly growing Urban Areas.

Such that the disposal of waste do not constitute health hazard.

(b)               Monitoring the quality and nature of the groundwater reservoirs in the vicinity of the site.

(c)               Determination of the ideal treatment that can be applied where ground water resources are contaminated.

(d)               Legislation to control types of solid waste disposal and thus guarantee quality controls of groundwater reservoirs as well as surface water.


There are some certain tests which should be performed, these are, Aerobic Test, Pathogen Screen Test, etc. But due to the time factor, money and some facilities which are needed but are not present at hand, these tests could not be carried by the researcher.


1. PERCOLATION: Percolation can be defined as the slow passage of a liquid through a filtrating medium. It is also known as the process of water seepage through the soil. 

2. INFILTRATION: The process by which water on the ground surface enters the soil

3. LEACHATE: It is any liquid that in passing through matter, extracts, solutes, suspended solids or other components, of the material through which it has passed. 
4. HAZARDOUS WASTES: These are wastes that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or environments 

5. AQUIFERS: These are underground layers of porous rocks or sand that allow the movement of water between layers of non-porous rocks (sand stone, gravel or fractured lime stone or granite). 

6. WASTE PREVENTION: It is the method of eliminating waste at source  and reducing the demand on natural or origin resources. 

7. WASTE RE-USE: It is the method of using a waste product from one process as a raw material to form another. 

8. WASTE RECYCLES: This is the method of breaking down the waste items into raw material.

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