Water is regarded as the wellspring of life, and it is seen as the most important natural resources. Water covers more space on the planet and it is estimated that seawater holds approximately 98% of this water and is unfit for human consumption because of the high presence of salt. Only an estimated 2% of the water on the planet is fresh but among that 2%, 1.6% is trapped in glaciers and polar ice caps while 0.036% is found in wells and aquifers beneath the ground. Apparently, there is only an estimated 0.036% found in rivers and lakes suitable for human activities. These very few existing water resources are becoming unavailable as a result of pollution by various industrial and human activities.
Water pollution is defined as a function of corrupting water bodies such as; the groundwater, streams, seas, oceans, rivers, lakes, and aquifers; which is majorly facilitated by human actions. Research proves that water pollution is the leading cause of various human diseases that lead to death. Water can be contaminated when foreign matters are introduced into the water body. These foreign matters could be in the form of illegal dumping of refuse and waste into water bodies which tends to degrade the ecological community of aquatic lives. This contamination could also lead to the death of humans in the case of unknowingly making use of the polluted water for daily activities like irrigation, drinking, and washing.
THE SCIENCE OF WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT
The biological, chemical, radiological and physical characteristics are usually highlighted when determining water quality. It is the condition measurement of the water compared with its ability to sustain the requirements of biotic species or the needs and purposes of humans. This is usually used to set the reference for compliance standards and is gotten basically through an assessment of the water treatment. To set the standard for water quality, agencies come up with decisions based on political and technical findings on how the water should be used. These agencies also come up with estimated purity conditions for the case of natural water. As already stated the decisions made concerning the quality of water are hugely determined by what the water is to be used for. However, water quality is mainly carried out on the water that is meant for human consumption, environmental or industrial use. Here are the following factors that determine the quality of water;
- Human Consumption-the pollutants mainly present in untreated water are; microorganisms like protozoa, bacteria, and viruses; organic chemical foreign materials from industries like petroleum usage, pesticides, and radioactive pollutants; inorganic foreign materials like metals and salts. The quality of water is dependent on the aquatic ecosystem conditions, together with human usages like indiscriminate dumping, industrial pollution, sewage dispersion and general overuse of water. In developing countries, water technology is used for purification to expunge pollutants from the surface or groundwater before it is sent out to homes, schools, businesses, and other users. Water gotten from the rivers, lakes, and aquifers without undergoing any treatment possesses an uncertain amount of quality.
- Domestic and Industrial Consumption- the quality of water for domestic and industrial purposes is largely affected by the presence of dissolved minerals. The most common of these minerals are ions of magnesium and calcium which get involved with soap’s cleaning actions and end up generating hard or soft sulfate carbonate compositions in water boiling kettles or water heaters. To reduce these ions, hard water could be softened by the process of substituting sodium cat-ions. However, hard water is usually preferred for human consumption than soft water as soft water is related to most health issues due to the excess sodium alongside magnesium and calcium insufficiency. Softening water, on the other hand, reduces nutrition and could improve the effective cleaning properties.
- Environmental Water Quality- This is also known as ambient water quality and refers to the natural bodies of water like the oceans, rivers, and lakes. The quality standards for surface water such as these vary independently as a result of the different ecosystem, environmental states and intended use by humans in that particular location. Pollutants such as toxic waste substances and a large amount of some certain microorganisms’ pose a major threat to wildlife that depends on the water as habitat or for drinking. It is also a major threat to health for non-human drinking purposes such as fishing, swimming, irrigation, and canoeing. Water quality regulations essentially require the adequate retention of the current quality standard of the water body by effectively protecting the recreational use and fishing activities associated with the surface water.
POLLUTION CONTROL IN NATURAL SYSTEMS
Water pollution control in natural systems refers to the use of nature and sustainable management in solving contaminated water challenges. These solutions are motivated and brought about by nature, which importantly provides social, economic and environmental advantages that are cost-effective and also increases resilience. It is a procedure that involves the enhancement of nature to provide solutions that benefits society. The challenges of society associated with a change in climate, urbanization, food security, water resource pollution is on the rise and as such, a major approach to curbing most of these disasters is by technology and alternatively by managing the socio-environmental ecological systems in an effective manner to confidently sustain and adequately increase the services of the ecosystem and nature in general to humans. As a result, nature system pollution control has widely been accepted as an alternative means to solve water pollution challenges. The following processes can be used to achieve water pollution control or to foster a solution for the environmental hazard associated with contamination of the water bodies.
- Enhancing freshwater availability through the use of natural processes which includes; groundwater recharge, soil moisture retention, among others.
- By using natural sources such as green roofs and food plain restoration to reduce the risks associated with water pollutions.
Oct 17, 2019