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What's in the water?

Not long ago, we blindly believed that perfectly healthy clean water flows from our taps. Today, that is no longer the case. We know that water can be full of hazardous industrial waste, heavy metals, toxins from dead fields of industrial agriculture, leachate from nearby landfills, and a host of other toxic chemicals. A whole collection of the worst poisons can be present in drinking water. Chlorine, lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury, arsenic, cyanides, fluorides, benzene, chlorobenzene, radon, PCBs, dioxins, chloroform, vinyl chloride, tetrachlorethylene, methychloride, nitrates, more than 300 different pesticide residues can be found in it. antibiotics, hormones, pharmacologically active substances, and all kinds of biological contaminants from nearby septic tanks and illegal dumps. Drinking water can endanger our health! What can we do? The only way to find out what kind of water we drink is to analyze it.

While an unusual color or smell or metallic taste immediately alerts us to impure water, some contaminants remain undetected. Lead, for example, is tasteless, odorless and colourless. It can enter the water through soldered joints on fittings and water pipes, which were used in residential construction until the end of the 1980s.

Although municipal water systems use chlorine to disinfect water, chlorination is not a 100% successful method. certain microorganisms may still occur in the water. Even though the water is disinfected, contamination can occur as it flows through the long city water pipes that lead to our homes.

What can be found in drinking water:

the taste and smell of chlorine, which is the result of water disinfection with chlorine,

musty and slimy taste and smell are caused by algae, mold and bacteria that live and reproduce in water pipes,

turbidity is caused by particles and sediments dissolved in the water,

the smell of rotten eggs warns us of the presence of ammonia in the water,

color leads us to dead organic matter and metals such as iron.

However, it is much more difficult to detect the presence of:

chlorine compounds when it reacts with other elements and compounds in water,

toxic metals such as lead or mercury,

dispersed organic compounds including chemicals and pesticides,

microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses that live in water.

The type of drinking water contamination depends to a large extent on where you live. if you live in a big city, your first concern may be chlorine compounds, germ contamination, and in some places lead. if you live in an environment where you get your water from local water catchments, nitrates, pesticides, bacteria and faeces can appear in it. All these substances are harmful to health.

Water and our Planet

About 70 percent of the earth's surface is covered by oceans, which together contain as much as 97 percent of the planet's water. A little more than two percent of water is trapped in glaciers and snow. Only slightly less than one percent of the planet's water is fresh, while only a little less than a third is accessible to humans. And our entire civilization rests on this less than a third of a percent.

Water is a natural good that is a condition for life on Earth and it constantly circulates in nature. Through evaporation, it passes into the atmosphere and returns to the earth's surface with precipitation, where part of the water is used for everyday life, part has flowed into rivers and underground, and part has evaporated.

In the past 100 years, the consumption of drinking or fresh water has increased by six times. Even today, there are many countries where there is a shortage of water, especially clean drinking water. Population growth and the threat of climate change can lead to a major global water crisis with current water use.

Emissions of hazardous substances, which are directly or indirectly released by humans into the groundwater, which is the source of our drinking water, deteriorate the quality of water and reduce the suitability of water sources for use. Namely, water is like a chameleon that completely summarizes the patterns of the environment, because water is an excellent solvent and everything that we once poured into the environment returns to us in a glass or on a plate in a year, a decade or even a century.

The importance of water for life

Water is vital for all living things. It makes up about two-thirds of our body weight. Growing plants contain from 7 to 9 tenths of their weight, and the body of a jellyfish is almost entirely water. People get it through food and drink, and excrete it through urine, breathing and sweating. The same applies to many types of animals. Plants absorb it through the roots and release it through the leaves. Since various substances such as sugar, salt and mineral substances are dissolved in water, these also circulate through living beings and enable them to develop and live.

The importance of water for life on Earth could be divided into physiological, hygienic and economic. Water enables the functioning of our organism, as well as the maintenance of hygiene. For this purpose, we use much more water than for physiological needs. Most water is used in industry, transport, agriculture and other economic sectors, i.e. for economic purposes. Water is also important as a source and transmitter of energy or as a cooling agent.

Water is also a habitat for many plants

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