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       Phosphorus is usually present in natural water as phosphate and is an essential element of life, phosphate can come from fertilizers, human or animal wastes, soaps or detergents and industrial waste.[1] When too much phosphorus becomes available, plant grows rapidly.[1] Phosphate that enter a stream may cause algae to multiply and grow quickly, this may result in an algae bloom. Algae bloom are thick layers of green slime that cover the surface of ponds or slow moving stream, algae bloom are harmful to most aquatic organisms.[1] They cause a decrease in the dissolved oxygen level of the water, by  preventing waves and surface of the water from coming into contact with the air which provides the main source of oxygen for the water.[2] Their dark colour absorbs more heat energy from sunlight causing the water temperature to rise.[2] Plants which grow fast, die fast and sink to the bottom, of the water body; are decomposed by bacteria increasing the biological oxygen demand (BOD). All these factors combined to cause oxygen level in the water to decrease rapidly. This can result in fish kill and the death of many aquatic organism.[2]


Ihiala local government and Uli town could be said to be a lowland area and a non-industrialized area, but the establishment of the Anambra State University has brought about rapid development as well as population explosion

       As a result, it has been suspected that there are certain activities that may bring pollution in the source  of water in Ihiala and Uli town e.g. phosphate pollution. However, it becomes imperative and important to assess these major sources of water pollution by phosphate (Atamiri river) in anambra State and to know the level of their pollution either they are good for the domestic purpose or not, and how they could be subjected to the treatment so as to avert the various adverse health implications.

       It is very important to analyse solvent water because it contain a large number of phosphate or pollutant which are necessary to be checked before the water is used for any sperciic purpose.


       Water is a major chemical component of the earths surface. It is the only liquid that most organism ever encounter.

       We alternately take it for granted because of its ubiquity and blend nature or marvel at its unusual and fascinating properties. At the centre of this fascination is the role of water as the medium of life (Garret and Gresham and Gresham 1999) over 90% of the weight of any cell is composed of water and all the metabolic processes or reactions associated are based on it (Nester et. al., 1998) over 90% of the weight of any cell is composed of water and all the metabolic processes or reaction associated are based on it (Nester et. al., 1998).

       Water is containing hydrogen, oxygen with a variety of dissolved and suspended substance. Water must therefore be analysed and assessed to determine its physiological and technological acceptability for intended purposes


Water pollution is any chemical, physical or biological change in the quality of water that has a harmful effect on any living thing that drinks or uses it.[1] When humans drink polluted water, it often has serious effects on their health. Water pollution can also make water unsuitable for the desired use.[1]

Phosphates are major source of pollution in lakes, stream and high phosphate level support over-production of algae and water weeds.[2] However many of us have misconception regarding source of polluting phosphate and many home owners unknowingly contribute to the problem lawn and garden fertilizers often are implicated as the major source of phosphate pollution. However when phosphate are applied to soil, they quickly bind to soil particles. Soil bound phosphate contribute to pollution only when soil erosion occurs.[3]


Water pollution is usually caused by human activities, different human sources add to the pollution of water. There are two major of sources.

1.          Point sources are sources that discharge pollutants at specific locations through pipeline or sewers into the surface water example factories, sewage treatment plants, underground mines, oil wells, oil tankers and agriculture.[5]

2.          Non point sources are sources that can not be traced to a single site of discharge example acid deposition from the air, traffic  pollutant that are spread through rivers and pollutant that enter the water through ground water. Non point pollution is hard to control because the perpetrators can not be traced.[5]


Phosphate plays an important role in cell activities. It has been shown that phosphate regulates water transport and glucose metabolism.[5] An increase in phosphate concentration is capable of causing a rise in oxidative metabolism in water body. Phosphate is an important ingredient in many soaps and detergent due to its powerful cleaning activities.[5]

       Phosphate emits a bad odour, it makes swimming difficult and more complicated water for drinking.

Phosphate ion in water can definitely cause serious health problem in infant under 6 months of age when phosphate water is used to mix infant formula.[5] The excess phosphate can interfere with the ability of the protein (hemoglobin) to carry oxygen in babies’ blood.[5] This can cause babies to suffocate even though their lungs are receiving sufficient oxygen.


·        Use as NPK fertilizer

·        Used as binder

·        Used as indicator of pollution

·        Used as bloom, etc


·        Phosphate enter stream may cause algae to multiply and grow quickly. This may result in an algae bloom

·        Algae bloom are thick layers of green slime that cover the surface of pond or slow moving stream.

·        Algae bloom are harmful to most aquatic organism.

·        They cause a decrease in the dissolved oxygen level of the water

·        They prevent waves and the surface of the water from coming into contact with air which provides the main source of oxygen for the water.

·        Total phosphate is used as an indicator of pollution from run-off in agricultural areas or domestic sewage.

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