Why Is Water Quality Testing Important?
Water quality refers to the suitability of a water source for a variety of uses. It involves its physical, chemical, biological, and taste-related properties. These properties can directly impact human consumption, human health, and industrial and domestic use. Water quality standards are usually set and enforced by local governments.
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Water quality testing is an important process for institutions that provide safe drinking water to local communities. It is vital to identify contaminants and other problems early on and take remedial action to protect the public from these hazards. However, water quality monitoring is not a one-stop shop and it is important to be patient and follow the guidelines provided by your institution.
The water supply that we consume is a living ecosystem. It will change over time. Regular testing is essential to monitor the levels of harmful substances and monitor the effectiveness of water treatment methods. Water is not a homogeneous solution; therefore, testing provides a more comprehensive measure than what is provided by sampling.
For aquatic animals, proper water quality is essential for their health. They are dependent on the water in which they live, eat, drink, and eliminate waste. Moreover, aquatic animals living in captivity have to be sensitive to any changes in water parameters. This article explains why it is important to conduct water quality tests and how different values can affect aquatic animals.
Water contains various contaminants, such as dissolved solids, organic matter, and bacteria. Some of these contaminants are dangerous to human health. Those that can be harmful include iron, cadmium, fluoride, radium, and uranium. Moreover, some natural minerals can also be harmful, especially if ingested in high concentrations. Thus, it is important to perform water quality testing to ensure that the water is safe for consumption.
There are several types of methods used in water quality testing. These include physical parameters, chemical analyses, and biological assessments. Physical tests reveal properties that are detectable by the senses, while chemical analyses reveal the amount of organic and mineral substances in the water. Bacteriological tests indicate the presence of bacteria. Other tests determine the presence of suspended solids and total solids, and detect odours.
Current water quality testing methods require bulky lab equipment and chemical reagents. However, a new device could evaluate multiple water quality properties in a small, portable system that integrates into the burgeoning Internet of Things. This device would include an electrode that has variable capacitance depending on the environment.
The cost of water quality testing can vary widely. Government laboratories usually charge a lower fee than private labs. In Indiana, for example, the state Department of Health’s laboratory charges a fee of $20 for tests on lead, copper, and bacteria. This fee includes shipping costs. The Water Research Center charges an additional $45 for specialized bacterial screening. For that amount, you can get a comprehensive package of tests.
The first step in water quality testing is collecting a sample of water from the source. It is sent to Inspectorate M&L Laboratories in Johannesburg, where it is compared to the South African National Drinking Water Standards. This service costs about R717 for hydrochemical analysis, while the standard SABS 241 drinking water analysis costs R1100. The pump used in the borehole is a 0,75 kW Grundfos submersible pump that is capable of delivering 2500 liters per hour. Pump Shop in Randburg supplied the pump.