Water Quality Variation within a Distribution System: A Case Study of Eldoret Municipality, Kenya

J.M. Ndambuki (South Africa)

Keywords

Contamination, distribution networks, simulation, modelling, sewage

Abstract

Drinking water quality can deteriorate significantly between the treatment plant and the consumer’s tap. However, little is known about the movement of contaminants, particulates, and disinfectants within the distributions system. Further, water utilities experience microbial problems in their distribution systems that cannot be attributed to operational or disinfection practices. Moreover, a drinking water distribution system provides a habitat for micro organisms, which are sustained by organic and inorganic nutrients present on the pipe and in the conveyed water. However, excessive microbial activity can lead to deterioration in aesthetic quality (e.g., tastes, odours and discolouration) and can interfere with the methods used to monitor parameters of health significance. Lack of information on the deterioration of water within a distribution system due to contaminant intrusion exposes consumers to contaminants. In this paper, we report preliminary results of an ongoing research on the impact of accidental sewage contamination on water quality within the distribution system of Eldoret town. Preliminary results show that in the event of a 0.1% raw sewage contamination, the available residual chlorine within the distribution network will not render the water safe.

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