Water Quality Assessment Of Nyakomisaro Tributary Of River Kuja, Kisii County, Kenya.
Mbeche, Geoffrey Onchagwa
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Water is an essential resource on our planet. Freshwater is a necessary component for life and also for several other activities such as human consumption, agricultural and industrial processes. However, it remains a scarce resource due to interference of its quality. Rapid population growth, urbanization and consumption has placed great strain on fresh potable water supply especially in urban centers. The study assessed the status of the quality of Nyakomisaro tributary of River Kuja waters both in the upstream and downstream of kisii town, Kisii County, Kenya between February and May 2016.The specific objectives were to: compare the levels of physico-chemical and microbial parameters of nyakomisaro tributary in the upstream and downstream of kisii town and also to compare the levels of physico-chemical and microbial parameters of nyakomisaro tributary in kisii town during the rainy and dry periods. Water sample were collected and analyzed for the physic-chemical and microbial parameters. Temperature, conductivity, pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) levels were determined in the field using PH and conductivity meters. Total Alkalinity, copper, lead, zinc, phosphorus, Total Suspended Solids and nitrate levels in water were determined in the laboratory by standard apparatus and Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Coliform bacteria were determined using Most Probable Number technique. The data obtained was analyzed using means, T-test and significant difference accepted at p ≤ 0.05 (95% confidence interval). The mean values for parameters were 20.37 0C (temperature), 1.32 mg/L (DO), 144.90 μS/cm (EC) and 7.73 (pH), 3.04mg/L (TSS), 71.06mg/L, (alkalinity),3.79mg/L (nitrates), 8.66mg/L (phosphates) 0.24mg/L (copper), 0.15mg/L (zinc) and lead was below detection limit. The microbial levels were; 327.37mpn/100ml (TC) and 114.04mpn/100ml (FC). The results revealed that all parameters were higher downstream except DO. Most measured parameters were higher during wet months except total coli forms and pH. There was no significant difference between the upstream and downstream in the following parameters temperature, conductivity, TSS and Cu, null hypothesis was not rejected. Similarly, there was no significant difference between the wet and dry months in the PH, DO, conductivity and coli forms; therefore null hypothesis was not rejected. The water was contaminated with microbial agents which exceeded the National Environmental Management Authority and World Health Organization levels, total coliforms 50mpn/100ml and fecal coliforms 0 mpn/100ml respectively and therefore not appropriate for portability. This research will be useful to the ministry of water management for proper management and in the formulation of appropriate water policies in Kisii County. The studies recommend installation of piped water system to all households and treatment of effluents before disposal to ensure safe drinking water for everyone.