When was the last time you thought about the quality of your water?
Modern technology offers us so many conveniences; in fact, you’d be surprised how many things we take for granted due to science. Buying food is as simple – or simpler, even – as going to a grocery store. Antibiotics can take care of many ailments that used to be life-threatening. And as for water, it’s readily available from any tap inside your home.
It’s easy to forget that all water has to be treated in some way before making it to your home. In nature, water generally suffers from some sort of contaminants, no matter where you find it. And when it comes to all of our needs, water treatment is absolutely crucial.
What Contaminants Are Found in Water?
There are plenty of contaminants that can taint the quality of water. A variety of minerals can find their way into water supplies like iron and or arsenic. On top of those minerals, water can become contaminated with the following:
- Suspended particles
Each of these can pose a danger to people and animals, and not only if it’s in the drinking water. They can contaminate food as well, and illnesses can spread through the water supply. That’s why proper water treatment is so crucial.
Our Water isn’t as Clean as You’d Think
The problem is that a lot of water contamination is caused by humans. Pesticides are used in the commercial farming industry, for example, and those pesticides pollute the water. In fact, agriculture is the leading cause of water degradation, due to the fact that 70% of the world’s surface water supplies are used for agricultural purposes.
Outside of farming, several other societal habits contribute to the problem. From oil spills to radioactive waste, there is plenty of self-inflicted damage that we do to our water supply, and it makes water treatment that much more important.
It’s Not Just Your Home that Needs Clean Water
Water isn’t just treated for immediate consumption; there are plenty of industries that require clean water for their goods or services. Here are a few you’ll come across every day:
- Paint and Coating Industry – This industry is known for processing large amounts of water each day. In fact, it’s inside the product itself. Contaminated water can not only change the colour and consistency of paint, but it can ruin the product entirely.
- Construction – Clean water is needed on construction sites, not just to be provided for workers, but for the actual construction processes like cutting and cleaning debris.
- Skin and Baby Care products – This one’s a bit of a no-brainer when you think about it. Any product that’s used on skin has to be void of contaminants.
- Healthcare – Sterilization is an absolute given in the medical field. Doctors go to great lengths to prevent the spread of bacteria when seeing patients, and water treatment are crucial for any shots or IVs.
Taking Clean Water for Granted?
Unfortunately, clean water isn’t something that we can take for granted. The Center for Disease Control estimates that over 780 million people worldwide lack access to an improved water source. The regions impacted are generally Sub-Saharan Africa and portions of Asia, but it can also be a problem anywhere in the world.
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is not an isolated incident, unfortunately. Infrastructural issues can tarnish the quality of water and pose plenty of health risks. And all it takes is one breakdown in the current system to put your own water supply – and many consumer products – in jeopardy.
So what does that all mean? Simply put, our current water system isn’t infallible, and we need clean water for so many of our modern conveniences. Water treatment is literally a life-saving business, and it’s the sort of thing we need to keep an eye on as a society.