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Analysis of organophosphates in borehole water of Mailinne and Sosianni, Uasin Gishu county, Kenya.

Emily Chirchir*, Samuel Lutta, Jackson Cherutoi


The noxiousness of pesticides as well as their harmful environmental effects have generated interests in the identification and quantification of organophosphate in borehole water. These contaminants can move from agricultural land or poorly managed sewerage systems and get into drinking water by surface runoff or by leaching into groundwater. The study sought to analyze the organophosphates contaminants of borehole water of Maili-nne a residential area and Sosiani an agricultural area. This was through detection of organic contaminants in borehole water; quantification of the detected organochemicals of borehole water of Maili-nne and Sosiani areas. Fifteen boreholes, five at Maili-nne (MB1-MB5) and ten at Sosiani (SB6-SB15) were systematically selected and water sampled during the dry and the wet seasons. Organic contaminants were analysed by detection and quantification of organic pesticides based on retention times by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS) in correlation to computed element libraries for quantification. Diazinon was detected in boreholes SB9, SB12 and SB13, with highest level of 2.21 mg/L during the dry season and 1.52 mg/L in the wet season. Fenitrothion was detected in MB1 (0.145 mg/L and 0.191 mg/L) during the dry and the wet season, respectively. Malathion was found in SB6 and SB15 at 0.207 mg/L and 0.940 mg/L, respectively only during the dry season. Chloropyrifos was present in both Mailli-nne and Sosiani areas in borehole number MB1, SB9 and SB13 only during the dry season. Sulfotep was only detected during dry season in water samples obtained from SB9 and SB13. Dimethoate was only detected in Sosiani (SB7) during the wet season. It can therefore be concluded that residues of some organophosphate contaminants were above the WHO standards leading to decrease of water pH during the dry season beyond WHO limits (pH 6.5). The study also established that there was a positive significant correlation between presence of organic contaminants and deviation of physico-chemical properties (p=0.016, rho=0.68) in Maili-nne and Sosiani. In this regard the borehole water in the study areas should be treated and awareness be made on the impacts of pesticides use.


Pollution; Organophosphates; Contaminants; Boreholes; Water


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