A rigorous process which includes treatment and three tests are conducted before water ends up in your tap. For the water to be declared fit for consumption the test results must meet the Water Sector Regulatory Board (WASREB) regulations and World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.
The three tests are physical, chemical and bacteriological. To better understand the process, I sat with water quality officers of Tavevo Water and Sewerage Company Limited Mr. Daniel Dena and Madam Juliana Wanjala who were gracious enough to answer my questions.
Though I interview Juiana before Dena arrives I note, as they introduce themselves, they all mention that, and I quote “Water is a constitutional right….. we are responsible for the health of the society.”
1. Why do we need the three tests?
Physical test is done by the water treatment operators at the water source on daily basis. The process involves screens in coagulation and filter chambers that sieve any waste that can be physically seen. The process also ensures that there is no mud (coloured) and eliminates foul smell. Water should look good for the consumer to be confident of using it.
Even though muddy color may not necessarily mean the water is unfit, such dirt quickly attract bacteria to form. Once satisfied with the physical test, water samples are taken to the lab for chemical and bacteriological analysis.
Chemical analysis checks for proper mineral composition of water. Water should not have any heavy metals components that may be poisonous. The test also looks at the salinity of water to ensure the salt in water meets the required set standards.
Disease causing bacteria such as dysentery, amoeba should not be in water. For this reason, then we conduct a bacteriological test to ensure there are no pathogens.
2. How do we determine the content for treating water?
We continuously do residual chlorine tests at the end point before the water runs to the service lines to monitor the amounts of chlorine. The physical and lab tests also help us determine the quantity of chlorine to use in treatment.
3. What happens if water is found to be unfit for consumption?
As we said earlier the test help us in deciding how we treat water. If the water is unfit and in most case borehole water, we immediately inform our supervisors and they can stop the supply of water. In other cases, the report and samples are forwarded to government chemists for further analysis and such reports forwarded to regulator (WASREB) for action.
As a fulfillment to its mission statement Tavevo Water and Sewerage Company Ltd puts all the effort to make the water they supply potable.
All Company staff pledge to our current and future customers the highest quality service. We commit to providing a level of customer care, which will at the very least, meet our customers’ expectations…