Water quality affects the natural environment and human health. Tiny microorganisms found in contaminated drinking water can cause digestive problems and, in extreme cases, death. Testing procedures detect these organisms and other pollutants, including carbon monoxide, from leaky pipes. Regular testing can also reveal trends and help identify potential sources of contamination, such as a nearby factory or farm.
A water supply’s fitness for home or industrial use is determined by its water quality, which is determined by several physical, chemical, and biological factors. Water is contaminated by various factors, including human activities and natural events such as flooding, volcanic eruptions, or even nuclear accidents. Physical parameters include temperature, color, taste and odor, turbidity, and dissolved solids. Chemical water tests can determine pH, hardness (calcium and magnesium), dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, levels of chloride residual, sulfate, nitrogen, fluoride, iron and manganese, lead, heavy metals, toxic organic and inorganic chemicals, and radioactive substances. Contaminated water can cause gastrointestinal problems, reproductive disorders, and neurological disorders. Infants, children, older adults, and those with weak immune systems are particularly at risk. Viruses, bacteria, and other germs can also be present in water, as can heavy metals like lead, mercury, and arsenic. Some of these can be detected with a simple water test, while others, such as heavy metals and pesticides, need to be tested in a laboratory setting.
A rising issue also, indoor air quality directly impacts people’s health. Gasses affect IAQ in various ways, including carbon monoxide, microbial contamination, particulate matter, and volatile chemicals. Air quality is thus a key concern for businesses and building owners to provide employees with a secure working environment. Testing for water or air can be done in a laboratory but is often expensive and time-consuming. Many clients need a comprehensive water quality screen that looks at many different parameters. It is where water and air quality testing companies come in to help you deal with these issues.
Whether drinking a glass of water or cooling their equipment in the same liquid, they must trust that it’s safe. A fundamental human right recognized by international law and supported by public health policy is access to clean, drinkable drinking water. Water testing for contaminant levels is important to ensure the population’s safety. It includes water testing for bacterial content, turbidity and other parameters. It also provides monitoring of chemical contaminants such as heavy metals like arsenic, chromium, copper, lead and mercury, which threaten human health. National and international bodies set water quality standards and govern various activities, including producing clean drinking water and treating wastewater. These standards are based on internationally recognized guidelines.
Besides protecting state waters for swimming, fishing, boating, and irrigation, water quality standards benefit the environment by preventing sediment erosion. For example, maintaining water clarity in lakes saves the Army Corps of Engineers extra dredging and expense. Additionally, lakefront property values rise due to high water quality standards. Environmental contamination degrades water quality and harms flora and fauna. Oil spills, garbage, and chemical leaks can all damage water sources, with heavy metal contamination posing a particularly great danger. Most drinking water contaminants cannot be tasted or smelled and need water lab analysis to be detected. Safe drinking water is vital for people with immune system suppression (such as those undergoing radiation and chemotherapy), transplant patients, infants, pregnant women, and others at increased risk of infection. Local water quality associations publish reports that provide consumers with information about the safety parameters of their drinking water.
Water quality standards are set by various organizations in most countries worldwide, including the EU drinking water directive and the US Clean Water Act. These criteria frequently start with the water’s organoleptic (taste-related) qualities and chemical, physical, and biological features. Depending on local directives, water quality parameters such as nitrates, nitrites, chloride, and heavy metals such as lead must be kept below specific threshold values to prevent human health risks. Other water quality criteria, such as turbidity, may also be included in these regulations.