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Analysis of the impact of anthropogenic pollution on shallow groundwater in peri-urban Kampala
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

An investigation to assess the anthropogenic pollutant loads, transport and impact on shallow groundwater in one of Kampala’s peri-urban areas (Bwaise III Parish) was undertaken. Bwaise III is a densely populated informal settlement with a high water table (<1.5 m) and inadequate basic social services infrastructure (e.g, sanitation, safe water supply, roads, etc).

Field surveys were undertaken to identify, locate and quantify various pollutant sources. Information on the usability and operational aspects of the excreta and solid waste management systems was obtained from consultations with the residents. Water from installed monitoring wells and one operational protected spring and wastewater (sullage) characteristics (quality, discharges for drains and spring, water levels for the wells) as well as soil characteristics (soil stratigraphy, physical and chemical) were determined through field and laboratory measurements. Laboratory batch experiments were undertaken to estimate phosphorus sorption potential of the soils.

The results reveal that excreta disposal systems, solid waste and sullage are the major contributors to shallow groundwater contamination. High contaminant loads from these sources accumulate within the area resulting in widespread contamination. The water table responds rapidly to short rains (48hr) due to the pervious and shallow (<1 m) vadose zone, which consists of mostly organic fill material. Rapid water quality deterioration (increased thermotolerant coliforms, organic content in the form of total kjedahl nitrogen, phosphorus) following rains potentially follows from leaching, desorption and macropore flow. Spatial variation of the water quality in the area is largely related to anthropogenic activities within the vicinity of the well sources. Animal rearing, solid waste dumps and latrines are seen to result in increased localised microbial and organic content during the rains. The spring discharge with high nitrate levels does not respond to short rains suggesting that this source is fed by regional baseflow. The corresponding high microbial contamination in this case is a result of observed poor maintenance of the protection structure leading to direct ingress of contaminated surface runoff. Natural attenuation of contaminants is very limited. Estimated bacteria die-off rates are very low, about 0.01hr-1, suggesting a high risk for microbial contamination. The soils still have potential to retain additional phosphorus, whose sorption is largely a function of iron, available phosphorus and moisture content of the soils. This is also seen with the model results in which the phosphorus contaminant plume sticks to the surface irrespective of the rainfall infiltration rates. Simulation results show that continuous heavy intense rains (> 0.25mm/min) result in rapid flooding occurring within 1hr to 2 days. With lower rains, the water table does not rise to the surface, and no flooding takes place.

Protection of the shallow groundwater in the area requires socio-technical measures targeting reduction of pollutant loads within the area as well as a wider spring catchment. Re-protection of the spring, coupled with awareness creation, should be immediately addressed so as to reduce microbial contamination. Community participation in solidwaste management should be encouraged. Resource recovery systems such as composting of the mostly organic waste and use of ecological sanitation toilet systems should be piloted in the area. Successful operation of the systems however depends on continuous sensitisation of the communities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2005. , x, 56 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. LIC, ISSN 1650-8629 ; 2029
Keyword [en]
Shallow groundwater, Sanitation, Peri-urban, Vadose zone, Anthropogenic, Modelling
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4077ISBN: 91-7178-103-X (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4077DiVA: diva2:10647
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101207Available from: 2006-08-17 Created: 2006-08-17 Last updated: 2010-12-07Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Characterization of peri-urban anthropogenic pollution in Kampala, Uganda
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Characterization of peri-urban anthropogenic pollution in Kampala, Uganda
2004 (English)In: WEDC International Conference on people centred approaches to water and environmental sanitation, 2004, 474-482 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6053 (URN)2-s2.0-34249818718 (Scopus ID)
Conference
30th WEDC International Conference, Vientiane
Note
QC 20101207Available from: 2006-08-17 Created: 2006-08-17 Last updated: 2012-02-13Bibliographically approved
2. Shallow groundwater quality in peri-urban Kampala
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Shallow groundwater quality in peri-urban Kampala
(English)In: Water Science and Technology, ISSN 0273-1223, E-ISSN 1996-9732Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6054 (URN)
Note
QS 20120327Available from: 2006-08-17 Created: 2006-08-17 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Hydrodynamic modelling of subsurface flow and contaminant transport in a Peri-urban settlement in Kampala
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hydrodynamic modelling of subsurface flow and contaminant transport in a Peri-urban settlement in Kampala
(English)In: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, ISSN 0169-7722, E-ISSN 1873-6009Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6055 (URN)
Note
QS 20120327Available from: 2006-08-17 Created: 2006-08-17 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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