Improving access to safe drinking water

Access to safe water in Kenya remains one of the most important items in the national government agenda and also in the county governments. This was identified long before the dawn of the new millennium with the item set as one of the millennium development goals for Kenya.

The access to the right quality and quantity of water in most Kenyan households still poses a huge challenge. With almost 17 million people lacking access to safe water, this is a huge part of the population. This in turn has had a huge impact on health and infant mortality. Over 3000 children die each year from diarrheal diseases associated by unsafe water. Others end up enduring long durations out of school due to illness as well as trekking long distances to fetch water.

This impact has been felt almost in all sectors of the economy. Water remains one of the most fundamental factors for all sectors of the economy from agriculture, tourism, the hospitality industry, manufacturing, health etc. There has been a lot of effort especially by the national government and the counties to increase access to safe water through increasing the number of households served by piped water, increasing the number of water companies and increasing the capacity of the existing ones to be able to serve a bigger population.

With the various sources of water available in Kenya, the only thing that maybe required to guarantee the safety of the water is water treatment. Water treatment is the process that makes water acceptable for a specific end use. The end use in this situation being drinking. There are various solutions that can be installed and used for small and medium sized households to handle water treatment. At Davis & Shirtliff, we have specialized in the provision of these solutions. These solutions are low cost and highly effective.

A solution such as the domestic gravity feed 8 stage purifier can provide quality drinking water from the county sources. It can provide up to 30litres per day and has a storage capacity of 9litres.

Other solutions such as an under sink reverse osmosis (RO) can comfortably fit under a sink and has 6 stages of purification including Ultra Violet(UV) sterilization as well as giving an output of more than 200 litres per day.

During the rainy season, rain water can also be collected and pumped into the domestic system and similarly treated to make it safe for drinking and other purposes.

You can contact us so that we can advise you on the best solutions. See also more solutions that we offer under water treatment here.

Equipping and Commissioning of Boreholes

Welcome to part-1 of a 4-part series concerning the drilling and equipping of boreholes. We shall cover the entire process from having the site survey to commissioning of the borehole.

A borehole is a narrow shaft bored into the Earth’s crust in order to locate gas, water, oil or for other purposes. Here, we shall limit our scope to water.

Did you know that the deepest borehole on Earth is the Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia?

Typical borehole depths in Kenya vary according to area and hydrogeology. E.g. in Nairobi, Karen, typical borehole depth is 400m and in Embakasi, 250m.

Before embarking on drilling a borehole, it’s important to note the items that you may require. In Kenya, you will require 3-documents

1. Hydrogeological Survey.

2. NEMA (National Environment Management Authority) permit.

3. WRMA (Water Resources Management Authority) drilling permit.

The contractor will be required to have been registered fully with National Construction Authority (NCA).

The Hydrological survey report is obtained from a registered hydrologist.

With this information, you can approach a Drilling Contractor to do the actual drilling for you.

Once the borehole has been drilled, the driller will issue a Borehole Completion Record (BCR) from WRMA that contains important information concerning that borehole. This information can then be shared with us so that we can do a proposal for the most suitable equipment.

The Borehole Completion Record has information such as

1. Borehole depth.

2. Tested yield.

3. Borehole profile.

4. Static Water Level, SWL.

5. Pumping Water Level, PWL.

Other information that the borehole owner will need to avail is:-

1. Distance to power house from wellhead, d1.

2. Distance from power house to water delivery point d2.

3. Horizontal distance to water delivery point, d3.

4. Elevation from well head to water delivery point.

5. Existing pipe material, and diameter.

The above information will help us get the appropriate cable length and pipe length. The pipe length and diameter are important for getting the frictional head loss which are an important component of the Total Dynamic Head, required for the specification of suitable equipment.

With this information, we’re ready to do a borehole equipping proposal for you.

In our part two, we shall cover the borehole equipping process and what you need to know. Kindly contact us if you need referrals about a hydrogeologist or a drilling contractor by clicking here.

Credits – Peter Munyoki, borehole