Effects of the Unsewered Sanitation on Well Water Case Study

Abstract
Kenya is considered a water scarce country. The economic and social development anticipated
by Vision 2030 will require more high quality water supplies than present. This study (project) is
mainly aimed at establishing the effects of Unsewered sanitation on well water in Malaba
Township, Busia County.
Despite being a growing town, nothing much has been done to construct a proper sewer line and
piped water system. The sanitation situation in the town is very poor since more than 95% of the
population still use pit latrine and worst still the water table is high. Thus, most of the residents
have built cesspools while others have pit latrines. Although, the area is connected with the town
council water supply system, it is not enough. Most residents have shallow wells within their
homesteads, from which they get water for basic domestic use.
The quality of the well water samples was assessed in the Public Health Engineering Laboratory
at the University of Nairobi after being collected from the study area. Depth and distance from
the nearest disposal units where measured and recorded from the study area.

From the results obtained, bar graphs were drawn to show the variation of different water
parameters for the samples. Linear Correlation and Regression Analysis were also used to
interrelate between depth and distance with some specific parameters.
After critical analysis, there was very weak correlation between the depth, distance and the
parameters determined from the laboratory thus meaning that, contamination of the water was as
a result of other sources (high water table, domestic animal keeping, small scale farming, and so
on). The quality of the well water was found to be fairly good, with an exception of (biological
contamination, colour, Total Suspended Solids, Electrical Conductivity, iron and Oxygen
Demanding Organisms) were found present in some of the samples above acceptable level.
Detecting of total coliforms in drinking water is objectionable as specified by the KEBS
standards and should be managed. Apart from the mentioned parameters, all other water quality
parameters (Temperature, pH, Total Dissolved Solids, Total Hardness, Turbidity, Nitrates and
Chlorides) were found to be within the Kenya Water Quality Regulations Standards (KEBS) and
World Health Organization (WHO) drinking water guidelines. Continuous monitoring of the
groundwater quality was not done on any of the wells sampled. Detailed analysis of both ground

and published data led to the recommendation regarding underground water quality in the area of
study.

 

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