About seventy-one percent of the earth is covered with water. And ninety-five percent of it is the ocean. It is too salty to drink, cannot do agriculture, or can be used for industrial uses except for some. And half of it is locked in glaciers, atmosphere, and soil, and some of this freshwater is highly polluted.
There is only about one percent of freshwater available on the earth’s surface now. Drinking water is an essential resource around the world. But with only one percent of the world’s freshwater, we cannot supply water to just everyone and end that resource.
As the freshwater level is already low, we are using many different ways to save the available freshwater, rainwater, and recycling water. But isn’t it important to know the quality of the water we drink daily? Let’s see how to check the quality of water and the importance of it.
Why test water quality?
Drinking water quality is not the same in all places. It depends on the fact where the water has been sourced and also on the purification or filtration process it has been through. Water testing is important because there are many possible sources of contamination as below:
- Sewage water release.
- Mixing of naturally occurring harmful minerals. Example: arsenic, uranium.
- Manufacturing processes including cyanide.
- Release of factory waste.
- Local land uses of pesticides or fertilizers.
- Chemical contamination
Because of the above-mentioned reasons, the government has set standards for water purification and testing and it varies from state to state.
The government set standards to have different quality parameters that include physical, chemical, and biological properties for pollutant-free drinking water. This process involves several to analyze, evaluate, and check the quality of water.
Water testing process
Whether the water is meant for business, agricultural, domestic or industrial use, it is always very important to test the water regularly to keep the environment and water resource safe and to prevent any potential health problems.
The below-given are the list of impurities that can be present in water
- Heavy metals
To remove these impurities, the water testing goes through multiple stages of the process as below:
- Testing water hardness
- Testing chemicals and bacterias
- Purity check
Testing water hardness
The water can be classified as hard water and soft water depending on its hardness.
- Hard water tastes sour/salty
- It will not lather up with soap or detergent
Hard water can sometimes be safe to drink but when using it for household purposes, it may cause damage to your skin, hair, appliances, utensils, and clothes. It contains magnesium ions and calcium ions.
- Soft water tastes little sweet to no taste
- It lathers up well with soap or detergent
Soft water is drinkable and can be used for any household, agricultural uses. It contains a low concentration of ions like calcium and magnesium.
Testing chemicals and bacterias
Technologies have developed so much that even with a very small concentration of water, its purity can be tested. There are many methods available for testing the impurities in water.
- Test strips/Ph paper: these strips when dipped in water changes their color according to the amount of chemical present in them.
- Color disk kit: the maximum number of chemicals present in the water can be detected.
- Digital meters: It accurately shows the number of chemicals present in water.
- Lab testing: you can send the sample of water to the water testing lab nearby and get the results.
The purity of water can be checked by the process called evaporation. In this process, the water is boiled at a high boiling point until it starts evaporating. If there are dissolved salts available in water by evaporation the salts will be left behind.
If the water is pure, the salt residue will be less to no residue. But if the salt residue is high then the water is not pure.
After the water testing process, you can move to its purification process. Raw water contains salts, minerals, pollutants, and insoluble materials. to remove these impurities the purification process undergoes several other processes as follows:
The water is stored in a container and it is let to sediment all the heavy and solid materials down.
After sedimentation, the water goes through several layers of sand and gravel each about two and a half feet deep.
Once sedimentation and filtration are done, the filtered water is going to another container where chlorine gas is passed to the water. This kills all the remaining microorganisms and bacterias and keeps the water clean for distribution.