In rural areas, piped water connectivity is unreliable as it is usually limited but has a high demand. This has necessitated the people living in the rural areas to opt for cheaper, timesaving and less tiresome techniques to obtain their water and thus turn to rainwater harvesting. RWH is cheaper compared to the centralized water system in that the water is free of charge and the area of study receives rainfall throughout the year (OpenStreetMap, n.d.). Therefore, the only cost incurred is from buying and installing conveyance and storage facilities. It is less tiresome and time-saving as one only needs to install a storage tank next to their home and they fetch their water hassle-free. Comparing all sources of water for human consumption, rainwater is the purest and safest, before it reaches the earth’s surface. Harvested rainwater in storage is mainly contaminated by dirt and debris on roof surfaces and the conveyance systems. Also, being that many storage facilities are not washed regularly, accumulation of sediments occurs thereby posing a public health risk if consumed without treatment. For example, consumption of untreated rainwater has been linked to bacterial diarrhoeas associated with Salmonella and Campylobacter, bacterial pneumonia due to Legionella and protozoal diarrhoeas from Giardia and Cryptosporidium. (Lye, Health Risks Associated with Consumption of Untreated Water from Household Roof Catchment Systems, 2002) (Lye, 2009) Therefore, before all benefits of using harvested rainwater are achieved, there is need to understand the risks that come with the usage and consumption of that water. This study is thereby necessary to compare rainwater parameters to the recommended WHO water standards that are safe for human consumption and identify the effects the harvested rainwater has on the local community.
BSC CIVIL ENGINEERING
ENG. DAMARIS OYARO
GACHIRI IAN MAINA, FI6/47894/2017