We explain what drinking water is and why it is important. In addition, its characteristics, what it is for and how it is obtained.
What is drinking water?
The `` drinking water '' is the water suitable for human consumption, that is, the water that can be drunk directly or used to wash and / or prepare food without any health risk.
Water is extremely abundant on our planet, and since it is the universal solvent, it often contains numerous elements and substances dissolved in it, which can (or may not) be detected with the naked eye and modify (or not) its taste, color and odor, thus representing a potential danger to the human body.
Therefore, drinking water is not so abundant on the planet, although there are man-made drinking water mechanisms, since the quality of water in a community or nation depends, to a large extent, your public health. Numerous cases of epidemics or mass poisonings have been due to the presence of toxic substances or infectious agents in it.
In this way, the presence of drinking water in the world is constantly threatened by the contamination of water, soil and air, since large bodies of water such as seas and oceans are not suitable for human consumption, due to its enormous amount of dissolved salts.
It can serve you: Distilled Water.
Drinking water characteristics
According to the regulations of the European Union, it is established that drinking water must have a content of salts, minerals and ions (sulfates, chlorates, nitrites, ammonium, calcium, phosphorus, among others) that are within the accepted ranges, which means a pH between 6.5 and 9.5.
On the other hand, it should be as free of bacteria and pathogenic microorganisms (viruses, etc.), as well as suspended particles and organic or radioactive substances. This implies medium purity standards that make it suitable for free and daily consumption.
How do you get drinking water?
Drinking water comes naturally from polar ice, mountain streams or underground deposits, and generally requires only a simple disinfection treatment, using chlorine, ozone, ultraviolet exposure or other mechanisms that eliminate the free-living microorganisms present in it.
However, these natural resources are not always available in the immediate vicinity and the purification of common waters is carried out, which can be carried out through one or more of the following processes:
- Filtering processes By decanting in various materials, filtering the solid particles present or stripping volatile compounds.
- Physical debugging processes . As the selective evaporation, also useful to remove salt levels from seawater, or by reverse osmosis or distillation.
- Boiled A frequent home procedure, which involves boiling the water for a few minutes, killing the microorganisms that exist in it. However, it is ineffective against dissolved substances or physical waste.
What is drinking water for?
Drinking water is mainly used for direct consumption, that is, for drinking, cooking or washing the food we will eat . It is also drinking water that we use when bathing or washing, although in many countries there is a distinction between the water destined for these purposes (the one we obtain from the pipe) and the mineral water for drinking (which is purchased packaged).
Similarly, drinking water is necessary for the food industry, since at the agricultural level, recycled or treated water is usually used. It is used to make food and beverages, also to manufacture medicines and other chemicals, for hospital cleaning, etc.
Importance of drinking water
Drinking water is, although it may not seem like it, a limited resource . It is much easier to contaminate a liter of water, than to make it suitable for human consumption, and billions of liters of water are consumed daily in our cities, while the investment in water purification becomes increasingly expensive.
WHO has warned on numerous occasions the direct relationship between the incidence and morbidity of diarrheal diseases and other epidemics, with access to drinking water in the world's most disadvantaged populations. To the extent that we do not care for water and reduce the impact of our civilization on it, we will be more exposed to the health consequences that this implies.
Continue with: Water Care