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Water is the most essential element next to air, to our survival. Water makes up more than two third of the weight of the human body. A mere 2% drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration. Water serves as a lubricant, it forms the base of saliva, forms the fluid that surrounds the joints, regulates body temperature, regulates metabolism and plays a main role in prevention of diseases. Since water is such an important component to our physiology, it would make sense that the quality of water should be just as important as the quantity.

OVERVIEW OF CONTAMINANTS AND THEIR POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS.


Contaminants Symptoms Cause Health effects/Damages
Hard water Soap curd, and scum in wash basins and bathtub. Whitish scale deposits in pipes Calcium and Magnesium Salts Kidney/bladder stones
Odor Chlorine smell Excessive Chlorination Could occur from formation of disinfection byproducts
  Phenol smell (Chemical odor) Industrial waste seeping into surface or ground water supplies Various compounds may be carcinogenic
  Detergent odor, waste foams when drawn Seepage of septic discharge into underground water supply. Disease causing microorganisms may be present.
Taste Salty or Brackish High sodium content Aesthetic only
  Alkali taste High dissolved mineral containing alkalinity Aesthetic only
  Metallic taste Very low Ph water, Heavy iron concentration, Leaching of lead and copper. Leaching of metals from plumbing systems which can cause health problems.
Turbidity Dirt, salt, clay Suspended matter in surface water Turbid water may contain disease causing microorganisms.
Discolored water (red ,iron water) Brown red stains on sink and other porcelain bathroom fixtures, discolored clothing. Dissolved iron in influent(water appears clear when first drawn)Precipitate iron water will not be clear when drawn Lung disease, unpleasant metallic taste, discoloration
Yellow water Yellowish cast to water after softening or filtering or due to rusty pipes etc... Tannins in water from decaying vegetation and peaty soil Tangy taste, musty or earthy odor, stain laundry
Chlorine Eye, nose irritation Water additive used to disinfect microbes Stomach discomfort
Fluoride Dental fluorosis, pain and tenderness of bones etc.. Water addictive, erosion of natural deposits, discharge from fertilizer Bone disease
Lead Lower pH (less than 7)
Higher pH (greater than 7)
Acidic, soft, corrosive Alkali taste. hard Premature damage to metal piping, metallic or sour taste, staining of laundry Formation of deposits on dishes, utensils, laundry basins etc..
Microorganisms (coli forms, cryptosporidium) Vomiting, cramps, diarrhea etc.. Human and animal fecal waste Gastrointestinal illness

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