Principles Of Drinking Water Testing - FITBODYUSA

Principles Of Drinking Water Testing

By Judy Sullivan

Have you ever questioned the source of the water that you use for drinking? If you have not, it is a high time that you did. A great majority of people all over the world suffer from numerous diseases that arise from use of untreated water. This is a major problem for communities that live in hardship areas particularly in the developing world. Drinking water testing is one of the major strategies used by public health departments in disease prevention.

Testing needs to be done often to make sure that what you are drinking is safe. A variety of contaminants may be found in samples based on the environment. Examples include iron, manganese, lead, radon and sulphate. Perhaps the most troublesome problem is the presence of bacterial organisms. Organisms are difficult to visualise and the samples taken may actually appear to be of good quality just by looking. Microorganisms should be tested in stored sources at least once a year.

Certain circumstances may require testing more than once a year. For instance, alteration in odour, taste or color may require regular testing of sulphate, manganese and iron concentration levels. Mysterious diseases arising in the family or neighbours may also be linked to source contaminatio. If one is pregnant, it is necessary to test samples before the baby is born, after birth and during the first six months of life.

There are a number of other observations that can be used to decide whether there is a need to take samples. For instance, if there is an increase in the occurrence of unwanted environmental events such as increased incidence of diarrheal diseases, destruction of sewage drainage systems within the vicinity, increased levels of wear and tear and increased hardness among others. If soap starts to lose its ability to lather easily, testing should also be considered.

Babies are highly susceptible to nitrate poisoning. Exposure to high concentrations of nitrates may result in blue baby syndrome (methemoglobinemia) where oxygen levels in the body are insufficient to meet the body demands. Immediate medical attention is crucial for the survival of affected babies.

The samples used for this process are taken in different ways. The first sample is what comes out of the tap first once it is turned on in the morning. Another sample should be taken after the stream runs for some time. Samples can be collected at different points in the piping system when contamination has occurred in more than one section. Suggested points include inlet and outlet of a filtering device or before and after entry in storage tank. An allowance of 12 hours should be given when collecting the sample from a system suspected of corrosion.

Installing filters in the home can help get rid of some troublesome contaminants such as lead. This should be done after the samples have been tested to know exactly what impurities are to be removed. There are particular types of filters: distillation systems and reverse osmosis systems filter out fluoride. In such cases, measures have to be taken to ensure fluoride is obtained by other means to avoid tooth decay. Also, change the filters often to prevent accumulation of contaminants.

Drinking water testing should become a routine if some of the most fatal diseases affecting the world today are to be prevented. Apart from testing, there is a need to have proper storage mechanisms to prevent contamination. If the water is being stored for a long time, regular sampling for tests should be done.

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