GROUND WATER AND SURFACE WATER QUALITY COMPARISON IN LOWER KABETE( KIAMBU COUNTY)

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to compare ground water quality and surface water quality as alternative sources of water to supplement the unreliable piped tap water supply in lower kabete area, a largely residential area in kiambu county. This study was accomplished by identifying two streams regularly used by the residents and two boreholes from which samples were taken and tested for quality of water and assessing the better alternative source of water.

 

The quality of water is established on a defined basis, usually in terms of quality requirements for potable water. The water samples 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.

 

Rigorous laboratory testing was carried out and for parameters and found to lie within the following ranges; Total hardness 68 - 304mgCaCO3/l; Turbidity 0.6 – 7.5 FTU; Total alkalinity 41 - 119mgCaC03/l; Iron 0.2 – 0.8 mg/l; Total dissolved solids 112 - 270 mg/l; chlorides 81 - 248mg/l, pH 6.5 – 7.37; colour 5 - 15 Hazens; Fecal coliform count 28 – 91 and Dissolved Oxygen 4.79 – 5.82mg/l; fluorides 0 – 1.1mg/l ;Nitrates 2 – 9mg/l. in the above experiments conducted, Iron was found to be in excess of recommended Drinking Water Quality Standards for Kenya (1996) in one sample and turbidity was in excess in 2 samples.

 

It is recommended that, in order to avoid contamination of ground water and streams, there should be safe and effective handling of both industrial and domestic liquid and solid wastes. The Kiambu county ministry of water together with water service providers should work on improving reliability of piped, treated, safe water for the people of lower kabete. Chemical analysis should be carried out on both water sources more frequently at intervals of maybe 4 months (thrice a year) to ensure that the water consumed is kept on check against the set standards by WHO and KEBS. Sensitizing the residents on water handling techniques that minimize contamination such as boiling drinking water and use of disinfectants at point of use was highly recommended

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