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June 13, 2021

Water Quality Measurement: Is It Essential And How Can We Determine It?

It is crucial to determine the quality of water before you drink it, considering the multiple concerns regarding pollution. Moreover, numerous brands claim to sell clean water.

There are, of course, rules and regulations that require these brands to meet certain standards to ensure the safety of the consumers. However, if you are still unsure about the water quality, you might want to test it yourself.  

Why would you need to determine water quality?

determine-water-quality

When water carries visible dirt and sediments, it is easy to determine that it is impure. However, there are plenty of impurities that aren’t as easy to notice. These include various harmful chemicals, pathogens, and bacteria.

Most of the natural sources of water are contaminated from the runoff from urban pollution, especially industrial waste and sewage. Hence, if you plan to drink water from a water body or buy spring water, it would be logical to test the quality.  

Is it necessary to gauge the quality of branded spring water?

There are plenty of companies that sell natural spring water. Quite naturally, all of them claim that their water is pure and healthy. However, just like any other product, the quality varies from one brand to another. This is primarily for the following reasons:

  • Not every spring water brand collects the water from the same source. Leading brands like Diamond Rock spring water company use water from natural springs located far away from polluted regions. However, some companies collect water from springs that are not as clean or even from small underground springs in areas close to urban areas. 
  • The purification processes vary from one company to another. Ideally, a company should filter the water to remove any impurities that might be present without removing essential nutrients. However, several companies either do not filter the water properly or carry out intensive treatments that eliminate minerals that are essential for the body.  
  • When it comes to something as essential as water, it is the responsibility of the companies to ensure that their water quality does not cause any health hazards. However, brands that are more concerned about profits than the safety of their customers do not pay much attention to the purity of the water. 

Hence, it is quite natural to feel unsure about the quality of the water you buy. Unless it comes from a reputed company that you trust, it would certainly be wise to check the quality.

What does water quality testing involve?

To accurately determine the quality and drinkability of water, it is necessary to measure several parameters. Together, these offer a comprehensive idea of how healthy the water is. Some of the key parameters to measure are:

  • Bacteria content
  • Mineral content
  • Presence of chemicals
  • Concentration levels of dissolved oxygen
  • Hardness
  • Turbidity
  • Dissolved sediments
  • Specific conductance

Essentially, these are a lot of parameters to measure. However, all of these are crucial in determining the quality of water.

How to test water quality

Lab tests would be necessary to test all the parameters accurately. Professionals can use sophisticated equipment to check whether it is safe to drink the water.

However, you may not have access to such equipment and you may not want to spend too much on testing the water quality. Here are a few ways in which you can test it yourself:

  • Colored disk kits

You may test the concentration levels of various chemicals and minerals by using color disk kits. The kit consists of a viewing box with a disk with a color gradient, a reusable plastic tube, and liquid reagents or powder packets. You would have to take a sample of the water in the tube and add the reagent or powder. 

This would cause the sample to change color. Then, place the tube in the viewing box and start rotating the disk. When a section of the disk matches the color of the sample, you may read the concentration level printed on that section.

  • Test strips

These are small paper or plastic strips, each of which helps determine a specific chemical’s concentration. You would have to take a strip, dip it in the water sample, and swish it around. The strip would change its color based on the concentration level of the chemicals. There would be a color chart that you can follow to determine the chemical concentration based on the color of the strip. 

  • Digital handheld devices

You may also use digital devices like phonometers, colorimeters, and portable digital meters. These can be a little expensive and delicate, but offer accurate results.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to check the quality of water, you can test whether the water you are purchasing is as clean as the company claims it to be. 

READ MORE:  How To Improve The Water Quality In Your Home

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