Most everyone knows every living thing in the environment needs water to survive. While the world holds ample amounts of water, there is another major aspect that plays into that fundamental need, and that is water quality. Numerous water delivery methods, natural and mechanical, can become contaminated and polluted, lowering the integrity of water purity. This is a threat to the eco-system because not only does this pollution impact human drinking water supplies, it also creates a toxic environment for certain wildlife, organisms, and essential bacteria that play an essential part in a healthy ecological community.
Overuse of Household Water Source Impacts Water Quality
It is surprising for most folks when they hear the degree of household water usage can have a substantial impact on the accessibility to a high-quality water supply. Unless your household relies on a private well, you’re likely dependent public/city water system. While you are billed for for the amount of water your household uses, that doesn’t mean you have an endless supply of high-quality water at your fingertips, and although one household overusing from the supply will not create a lot of concern, collective overuse from a community supply puts a huge strain on the system and it’s equipment, causing pipes to weaken and possibly causing water purity to become compromised. Not conserving or limiting water use can also lead to the city’s equipment to need upgrading or replacing more often, raising the cost of the water, therefore impacting people’s access to the supply.
Aside from man-made water quality factors, there are also natural processes that can affect water quality. Soil erosion causes water supplies to be exposed to sediment pollution. Natural weather conditions, such as wind and rain, can also transport unwanted minerals, particles, plant, and animal waste, decomposition into water supplies. This is why floods and other water situations often result in boil water advisories to be implemented.
Household Plumbing & Utility Equipment
This factor reflects on a household’s personal water supply. Once the water is delivered to your water pipes, the condition and age of your home plumbing fixtures and faucet hardware can play a role in the quality of water used by your family. Older pipes and features can expose your water to dangerous lead sources. Metal and mineral particles can also gather at faucet openings, causing water to be contaminated. Another home appliance that can impact the quality of your household’s water is a water heater. Water heaters need to be serviced and drained annually to prevent the buildup of sediment and unhealthy bacteria.
Pesticides & Chemicals Can Pollute Water Supplies
The ongoing use of pesticides and toxic chemicals by the agriculture industry and weed control efforts can soak into and contaminate both ground and surface water and severely compromise it’s purity. Of course the degree of contamination depends on several factors, such as proximity to the agriculture activities or chemical application sites. It also depends on the strength and water solubility of the chemicals used as well as the amounts.
Trash and Littering Can Lower Water Oxygen Levels
Debris and litter, such as paper and plastic containers, cigarette butts, cans, and other garbage poses an enormous threat to our clean water supply. Rain and wind often carry those items into drains and waterways. This garbage poses choking and poison dangers to fish and animals who live near the water, such as frogs, ducks, turtles, etc. Once these animals succumb to the effects of the littering, they often decompose into the waterways, lowering the water’s oxygen levels. Over time, the litter itself, depending on the material and contents, also decays into the water, leaving it polluted as it makes its way into soil, forests, oceans, and our faucets. This type of pollution increases the amount and strength of chemical treatment agents used by water districts to improve the overall quality of the water being sent to homes and businesses.
Industrial and Manufacturing Waste Pollution And How it Impacts Water Supplies
We’ve been over how pesticides from agriculture activities can get into our water, and while that can be considered industrial pollution, there are several other industrial-related threats to water purity. While many modern and more environment friendly methods have been created in the past couple decades, without regulation laws enforcing them, a large percentage of businesses and corporations refuse to spend the money to update equipment and covert their technology to reduce pollution. This type of pollution is absorbed by our eco-system and delivers a naturally purified but ultimately lower quality of water back to the environment.
How Our Location and Landscaping Influences Water Quality
Geography has a huge influence on the quality of water that makes its way into our homes. This factor generally ties into environmental pollution, but different land features and their proximity to waterways and runoffs can cause different types and degrees of water contamination. There are areas where the soil is packed with a large amount of unwanted mineral content while other places offer soil with a softer mineral makeup. This can be a good indication of the water quality in the area. Elevation within the landscape also plays a big part in water quality. If a water source is running downhill, it is subject to absorbing more of the ground contents and sediment. Runoff from bigger cities is usually more prone to resulting in water pollution, since urban areas are heavily populated, that means more waste, both personal and industrial. Of course, as the population grows, the amount of contamination multiples.
How Does Water pH Levels Relate to Water Quality?
A balanced pH level in water is paramount because when pH is too low or too high, it becomes unhealthy and possibly toxic. When water pH number is low, that means the water is too acidic. Unhealthy bacteria and disease grow and multiply in an overly acidic environment. On the other hand, when pH levels are high, or too alkaline, this means the environment being tested is so stripped of bacteria, the good kind and the bad, that it also creates a toxic environment by breaking down any natural defenses. Both extremes are too toxic for any bacteria or organisms to survive. While a water supply with a balanced pH is ideal, contaminants and pollutants often cause an imbalance.
How Parasites and Bad Bacteria Enter Water Supplies
Our waterways are subject to contamination through the microorganisms that live in wildlife and human feces. Animals that live by streams, rivers, and creeks and rely on them for drinking water, often deposit their feces nearby these water sources. Runoff and weather conditions cause these droppings to enter the water. While there are restrictions in most countries prohibiting human waste pipes from being routed into these waterways, it still takes place in some countries and rural, undeveloped areas. This is a significant health risk because feces, animal, or human can contaminate drinking water and cause digestive issues and parasites. This is the issue that usually causes a digestive infection known as H. Pylori.
Local Water Quality Experts
While no single solution can take away every chance of contaminated water entering your household, you can significantly lower the odds with a little planning and preparation. At We Care Plumbing, Heating & Air our friendly professionals can test the water being delivered to your household, check out your plumbing fixtures, and pinpoint any problem areas. We can also investigate your water heater(s) and drain them if necessary. Our team can even provide whole-home water filtration solutions water softeners, RO systems and more! Our team has been trusted in Southern California for decades, and we’re always glad to be of assistance to you.
To connect with our team to improve your home’s water quality, simply reach out to us today!