What are water quality parameters?

water quality

Why is water quality so important?

Even with all the precautions and testing that the government has implemented for water quality  control, many people still have concerns about their water quality and health. What are water quality issues that are most common? Three key threats have been identified by the US Geological Service to the sustainability of groundwater:

  • Ground and surface water’s long-term availability.
  • Ground-water quality protection.
  • Ground-water development effected by the environment.

Universally, eutrophication is the most predominant water quality problem as a result of high-nutrient loads like nitrogen and phosphorus. This has proven to impair the benefits of using water. 

Main nutrient sources of these nutrients is from agricultural runoff, domestic sewage, industrial effluents, and burning fossil fuel atmospheric effect. In particularly susceptible are lakes and reservoirs to negative impacts from eutrophication and its complex dynamics. 

The importance of having water that is clean and readily available is for the public’s health. This is water that is to be used for domestic use,  drinking, food production and recreational purposes. 

When contaminated water is allowed to get into the main water system, from poor sanitation or other reasons listed in this article, it has been proven likelihood of disease are transported like:  

  • Cholera
  • Diarrhea
  • Dysentery
  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid 
  • Polio

This happens when there is an absence, inadequate, an inappropriate water management. 

What factors determine water quality?

To determine water quality, scientists measure the following properties, with each uncovering something distinct about the water body’s heath:  

  • Temperature
  • Acidity (pH)
  • Dissolved solids
  • Particulate matter
  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Hardness and suspended sediment
water quality in glass

Water quality is measured by who,  water quality guidelines established?

In answer to “who” establishes water quality guidelines, the EPS (U. S. Environmental Protection Agency) is given the responsibility of establishing regulations and standards for restrictions of the different contaminants being allowed in public drinking water. This includes the disease-causing bacteria, germs, and chemicals that we have reviewed. 

The EPA has established that all public water system pull water samples then provide the information they have on their water quality. At a basic level, there are different ways to check and measure water quality. The place where to test water quality is predominantly performed at the point closest to the water source, as an in-field testing form.

Samples are taken from the water that close point by measuring for acidity, color, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. These testing measures allow a water utility operator the water sources condition with a basic and general interpretation of the source’s conditions.

The samples are taken from Biota, or bottom sediment, and suspended materials. The samples are then taken to a laboratory  for chemical, microbiological, and physical analyses. Here, the concentrations of any metals, nutrients, pesticides, along with other substances.

Water quality is can also be done with biological testing that will determine if the sediment, or the water, is toxic. This type of testing can be done at the lake or stream where the water is pulled from or in a laboratory. 

Water quality is typically determined by testing for bacteria, germs, and other factors that can make water dangerous for animal and human consumption. We don’t realize the amount of and the type of substances that are in the air that affect rainfall which replenishes our water sources. 

Dust, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, other natural and volcanic gases, sulfur dioxide, toxic chemicals, and lead dissolve or become entrapped in rain. As that rain makes its way to the ground surface, the runoff then flows over the rocks, through the soil, dissolving other substances, and it all flows or seeps into the water. 

There are substances that farming, industrial, landscaping, and mining use that is left on the ground, washed over with the rain and into our water sources. Not all that is washed into our water sources are manmade though. There are large amounts soluble substances naturally too. 

Substances like limestone that has a high concentrations of calcium carbonate and other rock with high levels of ore bodies and other metals are seeping and washing into our water sources. 

It is because of these factors that the importance of water quality and treatment for public consumption can be recognized as an important thing in human survival. Unfortunately, there are many parts of the world that do not have the testing and purification processes. Even here in the United States, there are pockets where the testing is compromised for industrial gain. 

Even after the official testing as required by the EPA is completed, the water will still have contaminants collected between the testing and purification to the faucets in our homes. It is because of that small degree of uncertainty, water filtration for the home is recommended for improved water quality. Call 817-901-7775 today for your water quality testing needs in Aledo and Fort Worth, TX.