African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 1126

Article in Press

Evaluation of sustainable use of underground water in peri-urban centers’ of Eldoret Municipality in Kenya

Department of Biological Sciences; Moi University

  •  Received: 27 August 2016
  •  Accepted: 06 October 2016
The Kenyan national water quality standard recommends that water should be safe for human consumption. If not protected, ground water can easily be contaminated with many pollutants including biological pathogenic microorganisms. Waterborne diseases can be effectively controlled through proper sanitary procedures that result in use of good quality water through proper sanitary procedures. The main purpose of the study was to compare levels of pollution of ground water between 3 peri-urban centers in Eldoret Municipality; Langas, Munyaka and Huruma, using levels of coliforms and solids in underground waters as an indicator of point source pollution as varied over the dry and wet seasons. Six test sampling points were randomly selected per peri-urban area and another two water wells located above 31 m from garbage dumpsites and pit latrines were purposely selected from the three zones and served as control samples. A total of 40 samples were collected in duplicates during the dry season (January and March 2015) and another 40 samples were collected in duplicates during the wet season (April and May 2015). Standard plate count method was used for total coliforms incubated at 35±2°C for 24 hours. The total solids were determined by evaporation technique in which the total solid material was collected and determined gravimetrically. The mean total solids (TS), in each water well was within the permissible limits of 1.2 g/L. However, the means of the TS varied over the dry and wet seasons. Means, standards deviations, one way ANOVA and Pearson’s correlation analysis were used to analyze the relationship between variables in relation to seasons. Analysis of the collected data was done using JMP statistical software at 0.05 level of significance. Levels of coliforms in water wells were above the National Water Quality Standards of Nil/100mL. Pearson`s correlation was used to test the relationship between the variables under study. The levels of Escherichia coli in well waters was positively influenced by the distance from the pit latrine and from the garbage dumpsites (r=-0.165, p=0.007) and (r=-0.246, p=0.024). There were no significant differences between the test and control samples, (ANOVA: F3, 39=0.2249; p<0.8487). During the dry season, total dissolved solids (TDS) levels of the test samples also showed no significant difference with the control sample (ANOVA: F3, 39=0.7601; p=0.5239). This study concludes that topography is a key influence on proximity of water wells to pit latrines and garbage dumpsites in the study areas, thus affecting the number of coliforms in ground water. This study recommends the construction and use of standard communal water wells, review of the 30 m location distance of water wells and other water abstraction points from pollution sources and regular monitoring of ground water quality.

Keywords: Land tenure, Point source pollution, Total coliforms, Escherichia coli, Solids, Garbage disposal, Ground water protection, Sustainable Development