Concerned by the discovery of pollutants in the underground sources of water within the metropolis, the Lagos State government has mandated the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN) to always monitor wells in their facilities.
The directive was issued to the body, after a meeting with the general manager of the State’s Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) Adebola Shabi, and senior officials of the agency at its premises.
Shabi, an engineer, told The Guardian that investigation on the quality of underground water from all the 20 local government areas in the State, revealed contamination by petrol stations.
“We discovered that all the sources of pollution of underground water in the state are petroleum related. So, we have mandated all petroleum stations to have monitoring wells. And we are giving them between six to 12 months to comply starting from September. We had a meeting with them over the issue,” stated Shabi.
He explained that the monitoring wells is a measure that will help LASEPA to carry out periodic checks and analysis of water samples from all the petrol stations in the state on a quarterly basis. To facilitate the authenticity of the samples, the monitoring wells are to be located close to the underground storage tanks for fuels and diesels in every petroleum retail outlet in the State.
“We will be taking samples on quarterly basis to monitor the level of compliance. When the storage gets corroded underground it automatically begins to discharge into the environment. We found this to be common in Kosofe Local Government (from Owode Onirin down to Ajegunle ) where we noticed high levels of nitrate, high microbial lobe, heavy metals among others. In Ikorodu we even found lead.”
Shabi revealed that the regulation also concerns the location of soak away or septic tanks and boreholes in the state, as these should not be in close proximity to each other in order to prevent the transfer of microbial lobe into water boreholes. Sensitization and awareness drive to this effect was kick-started last month in Agbado Oke Local Government and will eventually take place in the entire state, he further revealed.
He said: “We took the initial samples in 2014 starting with a few local Governments but now we have covered the entire 20 Local Government Areas of the state. It is now that we are coming up with the data after painstakingly going through them. In Lagos mainland alone, we collected 32 samples. “Anywhere in the world when any person wants to set up a petrol station this has been the requirement but we are just implementing in the State now.”