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Heavy Metal Analysis in the Ground Water of Kerio Valley Sub-Water Basin, Baringo County, Kenya

Festus K Langat, Joshua K Kibet and Francis I Okanga


DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10572993


Water contamination in the Kerio valley basin has been attributed mainly to the mining activities along the valley, which include Fluorspar mining and exploration of hydrocarbons. Accordingly, the water environment in the region has come under extreme stress as a result of extensive mining industries and growing urbanization. This study focused on the contamination of borehole water by selected toxic heavy metals of environmental and public health concern. Considerably large volumes of wastewater from domestic, mining industries and municipal waste resulting from industrialization and urbanization are discharged into natural water bodies such as rivers and dams in this area, which ultimately seep into ground water systems. Groundwater samples were taken from boreholes near exploratory wells and several indicators of water quality were examined in groundwater samples which revealed very high concentrations of total dissolved solids, high electrical conductivity and relatively alkaline water. Eight heavy metals were analyzed in groundwater samples using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). The analytical results show that the groundwater has unusual high concentrations of lead varying from 0.26 to 10.72 ppm, cadmium ranged from 0.22 to 0.29 ppm, chromium ranged from 0.09 to 0.37 ppm while manganese had high concentration in KV1 and KV8 borehole water samples posting 1.52 and 1.86 ppm respectively. The indiscriminate disposal of hazardous waste water from industrial and mining areas could be the primary source of groundwater contamination. A comparison of groundwater results with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended levels show that the majority of borehole water sampling stations are significantly contaminated with heavy metals. Chromium, cadmium and lead have been found in borehole water samples. The main causes of contamination in this basin is industrial discharge, random disposal of hazardous waste water and the release of untreated municipal effluents into the soil, in addition to use of fertilizers in crop production.


Department of Chemistry, Egerton University, Egerton



Langat FK, Kibet JK and Okanga FI (2024) Heavy Metal Analysis in the Ground Water of Kerio Valley Sub-Water Basin, Baringo County, Kenya. Environ Sci Arch 3(1): 58-66.


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