Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Water. What Makes Clean Water

Water is necessary for life. There is no debating that fact. Humans, animals, insects, and plants all need a regular supply of water to stay alive. The human body is 60% water and helps promote the healthy function of the body. Close to a billion people do not have access to clean water and are forced to drink dirty water.

There are three main types of pollutants that make dirty water. Sediment, living organisms, and chemicals. One common misconception with bad water is that it is always a murky brown color, but the pollutants that are going to kill someone are invisible or stay hidden in clear water.

If a water source is not protected, many outside elements can enter the water well such as dirt, rocks, or mud that turn the water into a dark brown color. The discoloration makes the water look unappetizing so no one will want to drink it. Sediment is easy to clean by using small screens to remove any dirt creating clear water.

Once water is clear, the dangerous contaminants have to be eliminated. When people bath or wash dishes in the same water source, different types of bacteria can enter the water. Many animals go to the bathroom close to the unprotected water source which will eventually run off into the drinking water. If those bacteria or parasites are consumed, someone can become very ill and even die if their immune system is too weak. The bacteria has to be killed from the water through different solutions such as chlorination, using bleach, or a UV filter.

The last step is to remove all chemicals, minerals, and salts. Low quantities of some minerals are not harmful but can be lethal at large quantities. An example is fluoride. Fluoride is used at low quantities in water to keep pipes and consumers healthy. Once the quantity of fluoride exceeds a particular threshold, consumers can experience liver damage and other digestive issues. All of these elements have to be filtered out.

Many substances can make water unhealthy. Through proper planning and testing, the right method of filtering can be employed to create a clean water source.