Have you been drinking borehole water in Nairobi? Well, boreholes allow businesses and homes to access private water supply with no restrictions and fewer costs, but how safe is this water?
Kileleshwa ward Member of County Assembly (MCA)-cum blogger Robert Alai Friday morning sparked a debate when he advised Nairobi residents to avoid drinking borehole water.
Taking to his official Twitter account, Alai told people living in Nairobi to reduce the consumption of the borehole water, noting that it has been slowly killing people.
“The borehole water in Nairobi is killing you people. We must reduce the consumption of the borehole water. Please guys,” Alai posted.
But why do you think the politician-blogger is warning people to reduce the consumption of borehole water?
Well, a lot of companies such as farms, hotels or schools will use a lot of water each day, making a borehole a much more affordable option in the long run. Although all of this free water seems great, there are a lot of questions about it since borehole water isn’t cleaned in the same way that mains water is.
Mains water mainly comes from recycled wastewater which has been purified to be made safe for drinking purposes. Boreholes, on the other hand, get their water straight from the ground which won’t go through the same treatment processes as mains water.
Safety of borehole water
Do you live at an apartment? Does it have a borehole? You agree with me that most of the waters supplied in most Nairobi apartments are pumped directly from the borehole into the storage tanks then supplied in the houses for consumption.
Whereas you can drink borehole water, there are rules and regulations defining the parameters to look out for before taking borehole water for consumption.
Borehole water can only be fit for drinking once it has been tested and approved by a health officer.
Unlike mains water, which is actually 60% recycled wastewater, water from boreholes comes straight from the ground making it 100% fresh and natural.
However, since it is coming straight from the ground this means that it could possibly have higher levels of iron, magnesium, calcium or other minerals as well as some bacteria.
Most of these are harmless however, to vulnerable people like babies, it could have some implications on their health, which is why it is important to get the water checked before drinking it.
Treatment of borehole water
Most apartments in Nairobi that have allowed tenants to drink borehole water have been treating it by chlorination. But do you know that this still poses a danger to your health?
Various studies have found that chlorination without regulation is not good for human consumption.
Borehole water can cause high blood pressure
A Nigerian medical doctor once revealed that borehole water consumption can lead to high blood pressure.
Each borehole, if you have not greater than 75mg of chlorine per liter, it’s okay. But by the time it starts getting up to 200mg per liter, it will start giving you a salty taste.
Most Nairobi borehole waters are salty.