Water is life, but what if this life-sustaining drink is contaminated. It is one of the basic requirements. Access to clean and pure drinking water is the right of every individual. The irony is that 70 percent of the world’s surface is covered by water, but only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. The remaining is either saline or ocean-based. Now out of this 2.5%, only 1% is easily accessible, the rest being trapped in snowfields and glaciers.
The 1% water, which we have access to, is also contaminated by various contaminants. Let us see the factors that generally affect the quality of drinking water.
- Natural Contaminants: This is something that you have no control on. It can be dead insects, dried leaves, animal faeces that somehow reach the source, the natural compounds that are present in the source of water etc. When in moderation, water has an inbuilt potential to take care of all these, but when the external contaminants also contribute, that is where it gets difficult.
- Microbial Contaminants: The microbes, which comprise of viruses, bacteria, protozoa etc., dwell in moist and damp places. Hence, the old and rusty industrial pipes through which water travels provide them the perfect breeding ground and then they get mixed in water and reach your homes. If you go through any water purifier review, you will find that all of them talk of how effectively they remove these microbes.
- Industrial Contaminants: Industrial waste gets dumped into water sources without treating it, which is a major source of contamination. Often, the rivers passing through the industrial towns are the most contaminated ones. Besides dumping their waste in water sources, these industries also release hazardous chemicals that pollute groundwater as they seep in along with rainwater.
- Agricultural Contaminants: We have been using fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides for long and most of it is chemical based. These fertilizers and agricultural runoffs reach the natural sources of water and pollute it. Sometimes, the pesticides or insecticides that we spray on crops seep down the ground contaminating the groundwater.
- Other Human Added Contaminants: Besides polluting water sources by our industrial and agricultural practices, we also contaminate in many other ways. One is by adding fluorides and chlorine. You might think that chlorine is added to prevent microbes. Then, how can it cause contamination? Actually, it can react with other organic contaminants present in water to produce many toxic by-products.
The other way by which we unknowingly contaminate water is by adding pharmaceutical drugs. People who are on medication need to consume various drugs, but the body doesn’t really absorb much of it. They are thrown out of the body and reach the sewer and these sewers finally reach the water sources contaminating it in the process.
So, it can be said that there are many factors that affect the water quality. Some are natural on which we have no control, but most of the contaminants are man-made. We need to be a little mindful about nature and try our best not to contaminate this life-giving drink. Considering all these, it’s better to install a water purifier for your home, which will eliminate these contaminants and make it fit for consumption.