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Water Quality - Research Paper Example

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Water Quality.
Water quality refers to the physical, chemical and biological distinctiveness of water. It is a measure of the state of water in relation to the needs of human beings or other living organisms…
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Download file to see previous pages Different bodies set the standards for basing water quality measurements. The primary purpose for setting standards is protection of aquatic and human life. Standards The concerned organizations set different standards according to the varying uses of water (WHO 1). Environmental factors affect natural water bodies and environmental specialists work to identify sources of contamination. Many people usually associate the term “water quality” with contamination. Water quality, as a topic under discussion, is a complex subject since water cannot be separated from the ecology. The chief cause of water pollution on the globe is its use in industrial and commercial sectors of the economy. Untreated wastes from industries pose a significant threat to aquatic, as well as human life. Runoff water from agricultural activities also contaminates water. Parameters As stated earlier, standards for measuring water quality are set accordingly as uses of water vary. The intended use of water, therefore, sets parameters for water quality. There is a focus on water treated for use in industries, by human beings or in the environment. Contaminants in untreated water intended for human use comprise of organic contaminants (chemical contaminants from industrial and petroleum use), inorganic contaminants (salts and metals), and microorganisms (bacteria and viruses). Water quality depends on bio network or ecology, as well as human uses of water. For example, water may be used to dispose sewage or industrial waste thereby affecting its quality (Kaul and Gautam 4). The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), established in 1970s, has set two types of standards to limit contaminants in tab water. These standards are primary, which regulate substances that are likely to harm health of people, and secondary. Secondary standards dwell on the qualities that have an effect on odor, appearance and taste. Drinking water may have low levels of contaminants which may not necessarily pose a threat to health. Municipal water systems in urban areas use water purification technology to treat water from the source before distributing for human use. The terms “hard” and “soft” water describe types of water needed for industrial or domestic use. Hard water contains minerals, for example, magnesium and calcium, which hamper effective washing abilities of soap. Soft water, on the other hand, does not have minerals and people prefer it for washing. Soft water is not healthy for human consumption since it lacks minerals needed by the body. Therefore, softening of hard water for human use is not advisable. Environmental water quality touches on surface water in oceans, rivers and lakes. The quality standards for such water vary due to flora and fauna, ecological conditions and intended human use (“Water quality targets online” 10). Toxic substances in water, needed for fishing, irrigation and industrial use, present risk to health. Plants irrigated with such water absorb toxins which get passed on along the chain as animals consume them. Toxins also have adverse effects on aquatic life. Water quality regulations set standards for protection of water, and establish provisions to guard against water contamination. Environmental scientists strive to preserve flora and fauna and focus on preservation of endangered kind and the health of people. Water quality sampling and testing There are numerous water quality indicators which shows that water quality as an area under discussion is multifaceted. Water exists in balance with the environment and, hence, experts make precise measurements of water quality on the source. Measurements of temperature, turbidity, conductivity, dissolved gases, and transparency depth (closely related to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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