Water Quality Standards





Water Quality Standards

Irrigational Water

The quality of water for irrigational purposes concentrates on the amount of different natural and artificial chemical content since this is the main factor determining the crop and animal performance. A large percentage of global water sources contain suspended salts and trace chemicals, a large percentage originating from the natural erosion of the earth. Additionally, drainage waters originating from watered lands, bilge water from urban sewage and industries can lower water quality. In most irrigation conditions, the major water quality issue is salinity amounts, given that salts have an effect on both the soil composition and crop harvest. Nevertheless, several trace elements are present in water and this creates real problem as far as its use in irrigation is concerned. Ordinarily, the term “salt” is assumed as sodium chloride. Conversely, many salt compounds exist when natural water is subjected to scrutiny. Most salinity issues in agriculture have their origin in the type of salts dissolved in the irrigation water. These salts include sodium sulphate, magnesium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and other soluble nitrates. The process of discovering the amount of salts in a particular volume of water is relatively simple and involves evaporating the water in a beaker. As the water disperses, the resultant salt increases in concentration. This is the same effect that the sun has in soils.

Salinity hazard targets are useful in preventing physiological droughts caused by saline soils. Crops in such areas wilt even though moisture levels are appropriate for growth. Measurement of the total dissolved solids (TDS) levels in soil will reveal the amount of salinity. Sodium hazards are another target of water quality when it comes to irrigation. Checking the sodium adsorption ration (SAR) in irrigation water reduced the destructive effects of compacted and dry soil.

Cooling Tower and Boiler Water

Cooling water fundamentally cannot be inspected by the user. Long spans of little maintenance results in the growth of biological agents such as algae, corrosion in metal parts and scaling. Cooling loops, responsible for eliminating heat, are constantly filled with salts and other solids that build up after the water volume has condensed. Scale formation interferes with the cooling system by causing a build up of poor heat conductors. Dissolved salts, soil and other particles are the common culprits clog the pipes and equipment and this increases maintenance costs for the company. Water being used in cooling towers should also be free from corrosive agents. By far, sweater is the most corrosive compared to the water from other sources. This is because of two factors. One, the high chloride levels in the seawater allow for easier penetration in metal pipes and tanks (Overveld 16). Two, seawater has a higher conductivity level. Preventing corrosion involves conducting an investigation for the causative corrosive agent followed by protecting the metallic equipment with either olyltriazole or ortho-phosphate depending on the material used.

Discharged Wastewater

The discharge of wastewater is more sensitive in terms of quality when compared to other water types. This is mainly because wastewater contains a variety of toxins and non-biodegradable elements that have a significant effect on living organisms and the environment. Wastewater has to be subjected to a hydro geologic study that will determine the effect of the wastewater on existing water tables. This study is followed by regular checks on the status of the soil and ground water. Regardless of the source of the effluents, the following quality standards are generally accepted globally. The wastewater must be free from toxins and other poisonous elements. It must have an acceptable temperature that will not kill aquatic and terrestrial organisms. This is important since most industries treat their effluents using heat methods. Wastewater must also be free of any solid, non-biodegradable particles that may settle on the waterbed or caused putrescence. The treatment of discharged wastewater should ensure that all compounds that have the possibility of reacting with other materials are eliminated. Normally, the reaction between different elements in wastewater changes the color, taste, odor and salinity of water bodies. Lastly, the effluents should be devoid of any chemicals that can accelerate the growth process of aquatic weeds and life. Different states have specific chemical limits that are availed to all producers of industrial waste (Overveld 21). For instance, in Sydney, United States and Australia, it is illegal for any company or waste disposal business to handle organochlorine waste materials.

Recreational water

Recreational water can be defined as any water body that is used by humans for entertainment, decoration or other social purposes. These may include water used for fountains, swimming pools, skiing and diving. The concerned authorities should ensure that the bacterial levels for the water are constantly monitored and controlled. A similar test concentrates on the amount of fecal matter in the water given that bacteria are closely associated with fecal contamination. Recreation water quality also needs to be enforced at the beach level. This involves investigating the presence of different pathogens in the beaches. The existence of any pathogens will have a massive effect on the level of contamination in the water. Recreational water should also be devoid of any harmful preservative agents such as chlorine that is known to harm the skin. Since recreational water is also used by people, it should contained positive aesthetic features such as transparency and no odors.

Drinking Water

This is a significant category shared by all human beings in the world. Therefore, its quality must be handled with the highest from of standards to ensure that all people in the universe have access to clean and safe drinking water. The presence of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals in water is a sensitive area. However, it is clear that no toxic substances should be present in the water (Overveld 34). Any chemicals present in the water should serve a preservative function. For instance, even though chlorine has been used for several decades to preserve water successfully, it has been discovered that it has other residual negative effects on the human body.

The methods used to purify drinking water and make it safe for consumption depend on the extent of pollution and the origin of the pollutant. For instance, biodegradation processes using sand filters may apply coagulation in lowering the levels of several chemicals present in drinking water. Other technical methods include granular activated carbon (GAC) are that have to be applied in the treatment phase to eliminate pesticides and enhance taste and smell. Occasionally, these methods are combined to ensure maximum safety of the final drinking product. In the study of water quality standards, drinking water stands out as the most significant category when compared to the rest. However, industrial and irrigation water have also taken a central role in the study of water consumption, quality and preservation.


Work Cited

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Overveld, Perry J. M. “The Use of Technical Knowledge in European Water Policy-Making.” Environmental Policy and Governance. 20.5 (2010). Print.

Addo, K. K; Mensah, G.I; Donkor, B; Bonsu, C; Akyeh, ML. Top of Form

Bacteriological Quality of Bottled Water Sold on the Ghanaian Market. Rural Outreach Program, 2010. Web.

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