Data of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface water and sediment of Woji creek in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria

Published: 09-10-2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/p23rjtc87t.1
Owhonda Ihunwo,
Amir Reza Shahabinia


The study river is the upstream stretch of the Sambreiro River and it stretches from Rumuibekwe community, passing through Trans Amadi Industrial layout in the city of Port Harcourt and empties in the Bright of Bonny. This is a major navigable river that connects the Bright of Bonny to the city of Port Harcourt. This river receives urban and industrial sewage also, few periodical accidental oil spillages from illegal and ill-equipped vessels transporting crude to illegal refining production frequently occur. The area is also the site for an abattoir within which the burning of wood, rubbers and cattle skin is carried out. Before the oil spillages, it was a fishing river with different crab species and other benthic invertebrates which provided economic benefits to the community that lay claim to this section of the creek (Hart & Zabbey, 2005). Woji creek is an intertidal river hence the possibility of the migration of contaminants (Amalo et al., 2019). This is the first study related to PAHs distribution in the Woji Creek (Nigeria), that points out potential contaminant sources. The study involved sampling of water and sediment from five stations along the creek monthly (from August to October in 2018). Samples collected were analysed for the concentration of sixteen Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) using an Agilent 7890B Gas Chromatograph (GC-MS). Eleven (11) PAHs were identified in the water samples with five (5) below detectable limits (Naphthalene, Phenanthrene, Pyrene, Indeno (1, 2, 3, -cd) pyrene and Benzo (g, h, i) perylene). Results from the surface water showed that in September, the concentration ranged from 6.029 ppm in S4 to 28.331 ppm in S5. October recorded a PAHs concentration ranging between 6.094 ppm at S1 and 29.257 ppm at S5. In the sediment highest concentration of PAHs was recorded in S5; 1809.08 ppm in August, 1810.05 ppm in September and 1821.5 ppm in October. Amalo, N. D.-O., Owhonda, I., Kufre, S. U., Amir, R. S., Mark, O. O., & Prince, C. M. (2019). Spatial and temporal distribution and contamination assessment of heavy metal in Woji Creek. Environmental Research Communications. Retrieved from Hart, A. I., & Zabbey, N. (2005). Physico-chemical and benthic fauna of Woji Creek in the Lower Niger Delta Physico-Chemistry and Benthic Fauna of Woji Creek in the Lower Niger Delta ,. Nigeria. Enviornment and Ecology, 23(2), 361–368.


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Water and sediment samples were collected monthly (from August to October in 2018) during low tide event at five stations (Fig.1). There are two sites for boat repairs within the 3 km stretch of this river (S1 and S3) chosen. Samples were collected in both reverse and free flow (that is from upstream to downstream and downstream to upstream). At each station, five samples were collected transversely and mixed together to form a composite sample representing each station (Patil, 2002). Water samples (N=5) were collected in 100 mL glass bottles acidified for cleaning purpose to pH 2 with concentrated sulphuric acid and sediment was sampled using a Van Veen Grab Sampler, collecting the top layer soft sediment. Samples were stored in an ice chest (< 4oC) and transported to the laboratory for analysis. Sample preparation and methodology employed is summarised in Method 8270E: Semi-volatile Organic Compounds by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) (U.S. EPA, 2014). Analysis of the PAHs concentration was determined by the means of the Agilent 7890B Gas Chromatograph (GC-MS). Patil, G. P. (2002). Composite Sampling. In A. H. El-Shaarawi & W. W. Piegorsch (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Environmetrics (Vol. 1, pp. 387–391). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester. U.S. EPA. (2014). Method 8270E: Semivolatile Organic Compounds by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). In Hazardous Waste test method SW-846 (Revision 6, p. 68). Washington, DC: United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved from