Water is the most critical natural resource required for human survival. However, there still exist regions where adequate water is not available. Moreover, even if people have access to water, water quality may be poor. The water we use at home for drinking, bathing, and cooking is mainly tap water. Even if you have a connection to groundwater, there are high possibilities that the water is contaminated with chemicals or even sewage pollutants. This water, when consumed, can lead to various diseases and sometimes life-threatening conditions as well.
Contamination Due To Microorganisms
Such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoans inhabiting water environments. These disease-causing organisms that are abundant in the environment are significant sources of poor health due to consuming contaminated water.
Bacteria is abundant in nature and can thrive in harmful conditions. Diarrhea, vomiting, stomach aches, and ulcers are common conditions caused by consuming water contaminated with bacteria.
Viruses can survive only when inside a host. Poliovirus is a classic example of getting into your system through contaminated water and giving you polio, a life-threatening disease that damages your movements.
These are, again, unicellular organisms that inhabit water surfaces. One prominent example of protozoa is Leishmania which causes kala-azar or yellow fever. These were some handful examples of water polluted with microbes. However, the list can go on for pages for which you need to ensure that your water is free of these harmful microorganisms.
Pesticide And Insecticide Contaminants
If your water finds its way through fields and areas of plantations, then there are high chances that the running water from these locations can get into your natural source of water, especially if your source is a river. The pesticides and chemicals used for cultivation do not dissolve in the soil, thus getting into your water supply.
Pharmaceuticals engage with drugs and have a unique process for discarding their waste. Sometimes the discharge can get into main streams when there is a leakage in the pipes or negligence. When these compounds come in contact with human drinking water, they can cause life-threatening conditions because of their toxicity. One classic example of such a disaster is the tragedy in Minnesota, wherein methyl mercury was leaked into the water, causing deaths to many people who consumed the infected water.
Sources of chemicals include household waste, industrial discharge, municipal waste, chemicals discarded from fields and farms, and other operations that work with chemicals. Even if these chemicals are discarded into the soil, they will find their way to the water during heavy rains. In this way, these chemicals get into the food cycle and cause bioaccumulation, which accumulates harmful substances in the organisms at the highest trophic levels. And if your children get exposed to this contaminated water, they are vulnerable to suffering from bone and stomach problems.
Studies have reported that even minute quantities of heavy metals are life-threatening. Especially for an expecting mother, the water quality needs to be good. These heavy metals directly affect the nervous, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems. If consumed for a prolonged time, this small quantity can change to a large one causing heavy metal poisoning.
How To Test Drinking Water Quality?
It would be best to look for signs that will convince you to get your water tested at least once a year. Here are some critical indicators for contaminated or polluted water:
– An Unusual Smell Like Gas Or Sulphur
– Large Impurities Such As Soil Or Dust Particles
– Constant Doctor Visits By Your Family Members For Gastrointestinal Problems
– You Are Asked To Do A Blood Test For Metal Toxicity
To get your water tested, you can sign up with any quality testing lab that will do a regular check-up for your water. Others may install water filters with RO and UV protection. However, these filters also need to be serviced every six months because the contaminants can clog the filters causing the water to be filtered inadequately.
When Should I Do A Drinking Water Test?
Not everyone needs to do a water quality test regularly. Once a year is more than enough. However, if you live close to a construction site or near an industrial area, then be careful with the quality of water being transported to you. You may not find any chemicals or heavy metals in the water, but you can always check for microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Next time you get a test, it would be best to do an inorganic test for salts and inorganic compounds, including heavy metals. In addition, tests for microbes also need to be done.
The Bottom Line!
Though you may assume that poor quality drinking water is subject to only underdeveloped and developing countries, water pollution is not restricted to certain parts of the world. Sometimes, due to human negligence, the quality of water can deteriorate. However, maintain good water hygiene and ensure to get your water tested regularly. You will save your family from having frequent visits to the hospital due to polluted water.
The color of the water is not the only indicator to judge its purity. Though you may look clean, it can have harmful germs not visible to the naked eye. Therefore, get your water tested and be safe from the pollutants in your environment. Browse through a lab and contact them today if you think your water is contaminated. They will take a water sample from your home and test it for you to take appropriate steps in the future. Also, it would be best to find the source of this contamination if present. find the root cause and then make amends for a healthy body and future.