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Water is our life line. One cannot imagine what would happen to mankind without water. If there is no water there would be no life on earth. The only living being that does not understand the importance of water is human, especially the industrialized countries.
An average person can spend weeks without eating food but he or she cannot spend 2-3 days without drinking water. It not only quenches your thirst but also plays a vital role in metabolism of the body by helping in digestion and excretion.
Pure water is colorless, odorless and tasteless, it is chemically made of two components that is hydrogen and oxygen. Because water is a universal solvent, it dissolves almost everything which comes in contact with it. Pure and safe water is hard to get nowadays as there is a rapid increase in water pollution.
Since water is equated with life, attention must be paid to the impurities that can be present in the water. Without the access of safe and pure drinking water mankind will head towards many serious health issues and life threatening diseases.
Common Impurities Found In Drinking Water
The most common impurities found in water are listed below. Some of the impurities are caused by humans as the result of their day to day activities, some are from factories and industries and some are caused by cattle, livestock, and other organisms.
Biological contamination of water is caused by the presence of living organisms like algae, bacteria, protozoa, pathogens, microbes, Viruses, Parasites and their eggs (cysts), etc. known collectively known as microorganisms and commonly called ‘germs’. The health effects of drinking water contaminated with germs may be severe, but easily curable with modern day medicine. These minute living organisms in water are the causes of diseases from dirty water like typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, gastroenteritis, etc.
Microorganisms are the most deadly impurities present in water that makes water extremely unfit for drinking and other purposes. Living organisms like bacteria, protozoa and other viruses are very harmful for living beings as they can lead to many fatal diseases and disorders. These microorganisms cannot be removed easily from water. They can survive even if we boil water at high temperature.
A portion of the suspended particles like sand and mud have a tendency to contaminate the water and make water to be turbid. The vast majority of these particles settle down over the time but some may stay suspended and must be evacuated after they have been filtered.
These are the solids which are insoluble like dust, fine sand, clay, rust, etc. They remain suspended in the water and cause muddy water or cloudiness in water. ‘Total Suspended Solids’ or ‘TSS’ is the technical term used to measure how much of dirt there is in the muddy water. ‘Turbidity’ is the term to describe the muddy water and a unit of measurement of cloudy water is based on the transmission of light through the muddy or cloudy water.
The problem with chemicals in water is that they dissolve in water and cannot be removed by simple filtration. ‘Total Dissolved Solids’ or ‘TDS’ is the technical term used to give a measure of the amount of dissolved matter in the water and is usually expressed as ‘ppm’ which stands for ‘parts per million’ or as ‘milligrams per liter (mg/L). To remove dissolved chemicals in water, it has to be either distilled or purified by using an RO water purifier. Some of the most dangerous chemicals found in drinking water in India are listed with an explanation as to how it affects our health in our page for toxic poisonous chemicals in water.
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