Water quality is more than just a problem within developing countries. It is true that according to statistics 80% of illnesses in developing countries are caused by poor water quality and sanitation but as evidenced in different parts of the United States, water quality remains an issue worth paying attention to.
Physical contaminants in water can be microbiological, pollutants, or chemical. Issues that develop can include bacteria, parasites, and viruses. There are many challenges in the United States to keep water quality at a level that is acceptable and healthy.
According to a recent study of the streams in the United States, only 28% have healthy biological communities when compared to the best possible conditions of related streams in their region. And a high percentage of stream miles (44%), lake acres (64%), and bay and estuarine square miles (30%) are not clean enough to even support uses like fishing and swimming.
If you suspect a problem with your water source, there are many ways to perform an analysis of water quality. One option are water quality kits. One of the most common types of water quality kits are water testing kits that measure chlorine, a chemical associated with pools. Many come with a test system and a particular number of tests to determine the chlorine level and whether it’s safe or not to swim.
An important part of water testing is the conductivity monitor. Conductivity is the measure of the ability of water to pass an electric current. It is affected by the presence of inorganic dissolved solids and also the temperature–the warmer the water, the higher the conductivity.
A conductivity monitor may have the versatility of measuring the conductivity in different kinds of water, from stream to pure to wastewater. Many of the newer models have digital read out displays and an auto-ranging option that allows for ease of use. A conductivity monitor is used by many environmental and industrial companies to quickly measure the ionic content in a solution.
Water quality indicators are also factors for professionals and lay people. They include taste and odor, the color of water, alkalinity, pH, heavy metals, and microorganisms, among others. While most rely on professionals to do the testing for them and keep the water quality safe, it is possible to test yourself if you are uncertain by conducting a water quality analysis.
If this is an avenue you’re considering, look into water quality testing kits to find one that suits your needs. Other options to consider include water resistivity units and more specified kits like well water test kits or a fresh water test kit. Unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene cause approximately 3.1% of deaths worldwide and even in the United States, it’s worth making sure.