Assessment of Drinking Water Quality in Shallow Wells in Koitoror Location of Uasin Gishu County, Kenya
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Information on the quality of water in water bodies is important as it forms a vital baseline for among others the detection of undesirable change in water quality. Water supply in the study area is mainly from shallow wells whose quality is influenced by human activities which cause pollution at the land surface. It is unfortunate that the water is used for drinking in the assumption that it is safe for intended use. This is compounded further by the fact that there is no alternative source of water and at the same time data on the status of water in shallow wells within Koitoror location is totally absent. The levels of physicochemical parameters in shallow wells in Koitoror location, Uasin Gishu County, Kenya were investigated over a period of six months between November 2012 to April 2013. The aim of the study was to find out the levels and variations of physicochemical parameters in shallow wells. Water samples from 11 Shallow Wells were collected during the dry and wet season. The physical parameters including Total Dissolved Solids, Electrical Conductivity, temperature and pH were measured on site by the use of HQD40 Multi parameter Meter. Concentrations of nitrate, phosphorus, nitrite and cadmium were determined by the use of DRSOOOspectrophotometer in Aquatech Industries Ltd, Nairobi. Data was analyzed using SPSS and the results presented in form of tables and graphs. The study revealed that during the dry season the mean levels of Total Dissolved Solids were 39.08±0.62 mg/L; Electrical Conductivity (IlS/cm) 81.97±lAl, Temperature (OC) 14.96±0.28, Phosphorus (mg/L) 0.S6±0.02, Nitrate (mg/L) 7A6±0.18, Nitrite (mg/L) 0.OS±0.002,pH S.99±0.03. During the wet season the mean values were, Total Dissolved Solids (mg/L) 41.63±0.66, Electrical Conductivity (IlS/cm) 87.39±1.47, Temperature (OC) 14.64±0.3S, Phosphorus (mg/L) 0.64±0.02, Nitrate (mg/L) 8.18±0.17, Nitrite (mg/L) 0.06±0.002 and pH 6.10±0.03. There were seasonal ~ariations in the levels of concentrations in the measured parameters other than cadmium which was found to be nil. During the wet season the concentrations were higher in all the measured parameters. Also the study revealed that, the levels of nitrite in both dry and wet season were above the set specifications for drinking water based on KEBS Standards. Based on the tested parameters, the shallow wells in Uasin Gishu County (Koitoro Location) do not meet the threshold values for drinking water as prescribed by KEBS. Residences of Koitoror are therefore advised to seek alternative source of water for drinking purposes. The water can also be treated so as to render it fit for domestic use.