The term “water quality” refers to the state of the water, including its chemical, physical, and biological qualities, typically in relation to how suitable it is for a given activity, such drinking or swimming. Insufficient amounts of some substances can be harmful, while certain amounts are necessary for healthy being. Similar to how a deficiency of some crucial but insignificant compounds may have a detrimental effect on human health, a small amount of some substances may have no effect at all on people. Any water, be it for drinking or for other purposes that may involve ingestion, is expected to contain a reasonable amount of contaminants simply because the process of water purification cannot be a hundred percent efficient. This contaminants presence however, does not render the water unsuitable for consumption. Nonetheless, there are some people who might experience potential health risks when they consuming this not-perfect water, but it is mainly because of the differences we exhibit in our immune systems. For instance, the elderly and the infants have a weaker immune system in the population.
Water quality is determined by the quantities of the following factors, these include the amount of oxygen which is dissolved in it, the quantity of salts, levels of bacteria present, and the turbidity of the water. To assess the water quality in some bodies of water, the concentrations of pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and other contaminants may also be evaluated. Poor water quality can not only pose a risk to our health but also can negatively impact the whole ecosystem in general. In my local town of Tolleson there are two major sources where the water we use is obtained from, this is either the ground water from a series of wells or water obtained from other cities such as Phoenix. Determination of the quality of water is not an absolute quantity, it is normally determined relative to the purpose in which the water is intended for. For instance, the quality of drinking water is not similar to the quality of water used to exclusively wash motor vehicles.
Arizona Department of Environmental quality conducted a research on causes of water contamination, it came up with findings that various hydro-geologic activities contribute to underground water contamination. These activities include, pollution from many constructed gas stations, dry cleaners emissions, agricultural activities, landfills and other forms of effluents. All these water contaminants can be grouped into the following categories; inorganic contaminants, microbial contaminants, pesticides and herbicides, organic chemical contaminants and radioactive contaminants (Russell, 2018).
Microbial contaminants present in water include organisms such as bacteria and viruses which may originate from agricultural activities such as livestock wastes and wastes from crops, the microbes may also come from sewage treatments plants and the septic systems. Too much of some of these bacteria and pathogens maybe very harmful to our health especially when people are exposed to them through consumption of untreated water. Most of these pathogens such as salmonella may cause illness to people (Machado-Moreira et al,. 2021).
A fair share of ground water contamination come from the use of pesticides and herbicides in our agricultural farms and home gardens. When these pesticides are in excess in the soil they are washed down by rain or running water. Some of it percolates into the soil and find its way to the underground water wells. These pesticides degrades the quality of water making it unsuitable for drinking (de Souza et al,. 2020).
There are other water contaminants which can be natural occurring but their effect to water quality mainly varies by their concentration or the use for that particular water. These are the inorganic contaminants which include salts and metals that are naturally occurring in the earth’s crust. They can also come from water runoff originating from domestic or industrial waste water and mining zones. Studies show that high salts and heavy metal contaminants in large concentration might have a long-term effect in human and animals’ health. Some of these heavy metals such as lead are carcinogenic and may lead to death of aquatic life (Gai et al,. 2021).
Organic chemical contaminants include chemicals which are byproducts of industrial processes. These consists of synthetic and volatile organic chemicals. They can also originate from petroleum processing plants and gas stations. These are normally chemical compounds containing carbon as part of their constituent element. These compounds do not easily disintegrate and they can accumulate in the body fats of human and other animals when ingested through water. These substances can cause damage to the nervous system (Marron et al,. 2019).
Similarly, radioactive contaminants can be occurring naturally and get exposed due to mining activities such and extraction of crude oil. These kind of pollution is much prevalent in ground water as these elements are found deep in the ground. Presence of radioactive elements in water has detrimental effects on people’s health. Radioactive contaminants also persists in water for a long time and they continue to be harmful for years (Karim, Guha&Beni, 2020).
It is clear that water contamination can have effects on the health of the ecosystem which ranges from minute effects to detrimental effects and even death. Therefore several ways of mitigating water pollution have been put in place. These methods involves using of fertilizers and pesticides wisely on firms. Biological control of pests might be employed in some cases to reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides. In order to prevent organic contamination, plant and animal waste should be disposed in locations that are far from water wells. Before sewage wastes is released the sewage plant operators should ensure that the sewage waste is treated and it’s free from microorganisms that may pollute water bodies. Finally the underground water wells should be located away from areas containing oil industries and mines (Martinho, 2019).In conclusion, we can see that poor water quality affects the whole ecosystem and therefore water should be treated and purified before being applied for various uses in our daily lives.