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Water Quality Report: The Basics on Water Quality and Safety
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

According to the EPA, there are over 150,000 U.S. public water systems that provide water to more than 300 million people. Water treatment systems are necessary to maintain healthy drinking water for human use and for environmental safety.

Each year by July 1, the EPA releases a water quality report from water suppliers in every community. To understand the report, read below for the basics of water quality and safety.

The Importance of a Water Quality Report

Your drinking water quality is the measurement of the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of water. A water quality report tells you what tests were performed, the levels of contaminants, and whether your water follows drinking water regulations. Regulating water quality protects human health and aquatic life.

Knowing your water is safe isn't the only reason why people want a report. Others want more information such as:

  • The source of the water
  • A list of the regulated contaminants
  • Contaminant levels
  • Health Effects
  • Treatment technique
  • Violations of the EPA's rule for safe drinking water

The Source of Your Water

Drinking water comes from either surface or groundwater. Water is pumped from lakes, rivers, streams, and reservoirs on the surface. Water is also pumped through drilled wells from underground aquafers.

Public Water Systems

Public water systems treat the water before its safe for the public. Water treatment facilities are either government or private facilities. The U.S. has one of the safest public drinking water supplies in the world.

Private Wells

There are people in the U.S. who also get their water from private wells and EPA regulations do not apply to privately owned sources of water.

Owners of private wells are responsible for their own water safety and having your own water quality equipment is a must.

Water Quality and Human Health

Contaminants in water can lead to health issues such as gastrointestinal illnesses, neurological disorders, and reproductive issues. Contaminants enter the water through:

  • Naturally found chemicals and minerals
  • Land use practices
  • Manufacturing
  • Sewer overflow
  • Malfunctioning wastewater treatment system

The EPA has limits on a list of over 90 contaminants in U.S. drinking water. Examples of contaminants in drinking water include:

  • Microbial (bacteria, viruses, and protozoa)
  • Inorganic chemicals (lead, arsenic, nitrates, and nitrites)
  • Organic chemicals ( atrazine, glyphosate, trichloroethylene, and tetrachloroethylene)
  • Disinfection byproducts (chloroform)

Drinking Water Treatments

There are more water treatments on the market to further purify your drinking water.

  • Hydrogen peroxide water treatment: This type of treatment kills iron bacteria, cleans organic deposits, removes odors from hydrogen sulfide gas, is biodegradable, and leaves no chemical residues.
  • Potassium Permanganate Water Treatment: This method oxidizes dissolved iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide into particles that can be filtered out of the water.

These water treatment methods are perfect for private ground wells along with other filtration systems, water softeners, distillation systems, and disinfection.

Are You Testing Your Water?

Your water quality is vital to your health and environmental wellness. Pay attention to your local water quality report to stay up to date and make informed decisions about your drinking water when needed.

Interested in water quality monitors? Contact Analytical Technology to speak with one of our representatives.

From our U.S. headquarters in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, we design, manufacture, and distribute analytical instruments based on electrochemical and optical sensors. We specialize in the areas of toxic gas detection and water quality measurements, continuing to lead the way in development of reliable monitoring systems. Our capabilities in the area of sensor design and manufacture allow us to offer the kind of application support needed for the most demanding applications. In addition, local product support is available through our network of over 50 representatives throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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