Due to the fact that water is an essential part of human life, the quality of water has also become an important aspect. Water that has an offensive odour, is cloudy or discoloured, or tastes faulty. Specific standards and regulations exist to ensure that the quality of water used domestically and environmentally is kept safe and prevents illness. The quality of water varies worldwide, due to the fact that certain areas are unable to afford to maintain an acceptable quality of water. Ensuring that water is of a good quality will prevent health issues from arising as well as providing a refreshing, aesthetically pleasing beverage to drink.
In order to ensure that water is safe for consumption or to be used for environmental purposes such as swimming, boating or rafting in lakes and rivers, there are standards put into practise to remove chemicals or other substances that may become harmful to animals or humans using or drinking the water. By keeping the quality of water up to standard, the safety of those interacting with it is ensured. Controlling the quality of water has become an issue within society today due to the fact that industries and businesses are expanding at a rapid rate. Factories give off gases that mix with water, and ultimately this causes problems with water pollution. Runoff from agricultural operations can potentially release fertiliser into water sources, which contain harmful chemicals.
In underdeveloped countries, maintaining a good water quality is becoming an increasingly arduous task. Many poorer countries are unable to afford to regulate the quality of water through fertilisation and tests, which leaves contaminated water, full of bacteria and chemicals available to animals and humans. Having water of good quality is also a luxury that inhabitants of underdeveloped countries are unable to enjoy.
Many plumbing systems use hard water, which contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium. The minerals present in this type of water subtract from its quality, as calcium may cause soap scum to form in bathrooms, as well as leaving behind deposits known as lime scale. Hard water may also be lower in quality taste-wise due to the fact that there are low levels of chlorine present. Soft water is a beneficial alternative to hard water, as the minerals such as calcium are removed, leaving a fresher, ‘softer’ taste. Soft water is also beneficial for young children, as it doesn’t wear out the skin as harder water does.