Prof Omodele Eletta of the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Ilorin has called for the treatment of rainwater before consumption.
Eletta made the call on Thursday, in a paper he presented at the institution’s 204th Inaugural Lecture titled: “Bad yet Good: Rummaging and Combatting for future Water and Land Security”.
He explained that research had shown that in urban areas, rainwater contains substantial amount of contaminants including particulates, micro-organisms, heavy metals and organic.
According to him, rainwater is considered to be the source of the purest form of water.
He however said, adverse environmental conditions such as the presence of atmospheric pollutants, overhanging foliage and bird debris contributed to the contamination of the rainwater.
He said, “rainwater samples collected from corrugated iron sheets from different locations in Ilorin, were analysed to determine the influence of the age of corrugated iron roofs on the quality of water used harvested.
“The harvested samples were analysed for the presence of irons using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. Iron was found to be highly implicated with a concentration in the aged roof”.
The expert who teaches in the Faculty of of Engineering of the University stated that, air contaminants such as emissions from vehicles and industries have been known to contaminate rainwater causing acidity.
Eletta noted that this condition was reported to have led to an increase in microbial pollution of the water and the ability to erode roofing sheets.
He added that depending on the age and type of roofing materials in place, heavy metals have been reported to increase in water collected from aged galvanised iron roofing sheets.