QUALITY OF WATER SUPPLIED BY WATER VENDORS IN ONGATA RONGAI

ABSTRACT

The objective of this project was to assess the quality of drinking water supplied to consumers by the different types of water vendors and to determine its suitability in terms of the degree of wholesome of the water. The area of study and survey is known as Ongata Rongai which began in the late 1950s and its main supply of water is from boreholes. The quality of water is established on a defined basis, usually in terms of quality requirements for potable water. Water supplied by water vendors were tested for typical parameters such as; chemical substances, physical properties, toxic compounds and bacterial quality. The values obtained were compared with the World Health Organization (WHO) drinking water standards.

Nine sampling stations were identified within the area and sampling was carried out in each of the water vendors identified. Rigorous laboratory testing was carried out and of the different parameters and found to lie within the following ranges; Total hardness 117- 169 mgCaCO3/l; Turbidity 1.8- 2.0 FTU; Total alkalinity 193-225 mgCaC03/l; Iron 0.4 mg/l; Conductivity 323-675 µs; Total dissolved solids 36-96 mg; Total suspended solids 0 mg/l; chlorides 80.5- 142.5 mg/l, pH 7.72- 8.28; colour 15 Hazens; Faucal coliform, count was zero and Dissolved Oxygen 7.0- 8.5 mg/l. in the above experiments conducted, only Iron was found to be in excess of recommended Drinking Water Quality Standards for Kenya (1996)

In conclusion water supplied by water vendors in Rongai contained high amounts of iron and therefore there is an urgent need for a concerted effort to deionize the water before it is sold to consumers. It is recommended that routine testing should be done to constantly and regularly monitor the quality of water that is supplied. In additional, in order to avoid contamination of ground water, there should be safe and effective handling of both industrial and domestic  liquid and solid wastes.

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