Are we drinking sewage water straight from the tap?

Kenyans are slowly updating to the lifestyle of drinking filtered water, but a vast majority of us still drink from the tap. But with recent findings, we will have to re-consider our source of water.

Sewage water

According to water experts, it’s unclear the exact quantity of available underground water but every day, thousands of boreholes in Nairobi sink. And with that, our quality water intake is highly questionable.

While Nairobi land lords spend about Ksh 4million to drill boreholes and facilities to channel water out, Chrysanthus Gicheruh, a hydrologist with Earth Water Ltd, warns that the likelihood of such a borehole water being contaminated is very high.

“This water is injected to the ground through percolation (process of a liquid slowly passing through a filter) and most of it is raw sewage, water from polluted rivers and floods. This is what we sink boreholes to get. How frequent and conclusively do we test the suitability of that water?" Questions Gicheru.

According to Gicheruh who spoke to SDE, Nairobi now drills as deep as 300 meters unlike centuries ago at 80 meters. Boreholes need to be equipped with monitoring systems to show fluctuation of time and space.

Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) has 1,200 productive boreholes in their database, while Water Resources Management Authority talks of 2,000 legal boreholes out of the estimated 6, 000 in the capital.

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