What Is Water Impurity?

  • Your body depends upon what you drinkWe have all heard some references to problems resident in our drinking water in past decades. Even materials added to our drinking water to "protect" us (such as chlorine) are linked to certain cancers and can form toxic compounds (THMs) which adversely affect us. The old adage "if you want something done, do it yourself" applies to your drinking water also.

    The most sensible solution to pollution is a point of use water purification device. Point of use refers to the tap, which is the location from which we draw our water. The tap is the end of the road for water which is consumed by our self, or our family. There are no more pipes or conduits which can leach elements into our drinking water beyond this point. To help us make the best choice for a water purification system which will suit our needs, let us summarize the problems we are faced with.

  • Biological Impurities - Bacteria, virus and parasitesYears ago, waterborne diseases accounted for millions of deaths. Even today in underdeveloped countries, an estimated 25,000 people will die daily from water borne disease. Effect of the waterborne microorganism can be immediate & devastating. Therefore, microorganism are the first & and the most important consideration in making water acceptable for human consumption. Generally speaking, modern municipal supplies are relatively free from harmful organisms because of routine disinfection with chlorine or chloramines and frequent sampling. This does not mean municipal water is free of all bacteria. Those of us with private wells and small rural water systems have reason to be more concerned about the possibility of microorganism contamination from septic tanks, animal waste & other problems.

  • What is Bacteria? Bacteria are single cell microorganisms capable of replicating on their own. They can be divided into two broad categories: Aerobic (Requiring Oxygen) and Anaerobic (Not Requiring Oxygen). Bacteria can live in a very broad range of habitats. Some, for example Pseudomonades, can thrive in environments containing very low level of nutrients. These bacteria are frequently slime producers and are a major problem in water treatment systems. Other bacteria, which adhere to surfaces, secret gelatinous material which serves to protect the bacteria from chemical disinfectants. This combination of bacteria and their protective coating is sometimes referred to as Bio film. The concentration of bacteria in water is commonly given in terms of colony forming units (CFU) per ml. A colony forming unit is a viable bacterium able to replicate to form a whole colony when incubated in a given environment.

  • Inorganic impurities - Dirt and sediment or turbidityMost of the water contains some suspended particles which may consist of fine sand, clay, soil and precipitated salts. Turbidity is unpleasant to look at, can be a source of food and lodging for bacteria, and can interfere with effective disinfection.

  • Total dissolved solids (TDS)These substances are dissolved rock and other compounds from the earth. The entire list of them could fill this page. The presence and amount of total dissolved solids of water represent a point of controversy among those who promote water treatment products.

  • Toxic metals or heavy metalsAmong the greatest threats to health are the presence of high level of toxic metals in drinking water- arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and silver. Maximum limits for each are established by the EPA primary drinking water regulations. Other metals such as chromium and selenium, with essential trace elements in our diets, have limits imposed upon them when in water because the form in which they exist may pose a health hazards. Toxic metals are associates with never damage, birth defects, mental retardation, certain cancers, and increased susceptibility to disease.

  • AsbestosAsbestos exists as microscopic suspended mineral fibers in water. Its primary source is asbestos-cement pipe which was commonly used after World War-II for city water supplies. It has been estimated that some 200,000 miles of this pipe is presently in use to transport our drinking water. Because these pipes are wearing, the deadly substance of asbestos is showing up with increasing frequency in drinking water. It has been linked with gastrointestinal cancer.

  • RadioactivityEven though trace amounts of radioactive elements can be found in almost all drinking water, levels that pose serious health hazards are fairly rare-for now. Radioactive wastes leach from mining operations into groundwater supplies. The greatest threat is posed by nuclear accidents, nuclear processing plants and radioactive waste disposal sites. As containers containing these wastes deteriorate with time, the risk of contaminating our aqua fires grows into a toxic time bomb. Another concern is the sewage of radioactive material into ground and surface water. This problem is of particular concern if you live near old radioactive dumping sites or downstream from them. Theoretically, these potential toxins are monitored by EPA testing.

  • Organic impuritiesTastes and odors - if your water has a disagreeable taste or odor, chances are it is due to one or more of many organic substances ranging from decaying vegetation to algae; hydrocarbons to phenols. It could also be TDS and a host of other items. Domestic sewage (major source), urban run-off (from house, factories and roads), Industries effluents.

  • Agricultural ChemicalsPesticides which seeps into water from old pipes and plumbing solder. Lead plumbing materials were not banned until 1986 so many homes and municipal water systems still have pipes held together with lead solder. Despite the safe drinking water act in 1986 which banned lead in plumbing.

Pesticides and herbicides The increasing uses of pesticides, herbicides in agriculture shows up in the water we drink. Rain and irrigation carry these deadly chemicals down into the ground water as well as into surface waters. As our reliance upon groundwater is escalating, so is it contamination. Our own household use of herbicide and pesticide substance also be contributes to actual contamination. These chemicals can cause circulatory, respiratory & never disorders.

Toxic organic chemicals The most pressing and widespread water contamination problem is a result of an organic chemicals created by industry. Chemicals end up in our drinking water from hundreds of different sources. There are hundreds of publications each year highlighting this problem. The effects of chronic long term exposure to these toxic organics, even in minute amounts, are extremely difficult to detect. Contaminated drinking water may look and taste perfectly normal. The users symptoms might include recurring headache, rash, or fatigue all of which are hard to diagnose as being water related. The more serious consequences of drinking tainted water are higher cancer rates, birth defects, growth abnormalities, infertility, and nerve and organ damage. Some of these disorders may go unnoticed for debates!

Chlorine Trihalomethanes (THM's) are formed when chlorine is used to disinfect water supplies, interacts with natural organic materials (e.g. By-products of decayed vegetation, algae, etc). This creates toxic organic chemicals such as chloroform, and Bromodichloromethane.

Colombia University found that women who drank chlorinated water ran a 44% greater risk by dying of cancer of the gastrointestinal or urinary track than did women who drank non-chlorinated water. Chlorinated water has also been linked to high blood pressure and anemia. Anemia is caused by the deleterious effect of chlorine on red blood cells.

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    Balaji Apartment, Udham Singh Sarani, Punjabipara, Siliguri - 734001    Phone: +91-9330041600 / 9434041600 / 9733141600   E-mail: info@agarwalcreations.com

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