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Water pollutants

Naturally found water is not pure. It contains impurities, dissolved and suspended impurities.

health and fitness Updated: May 20, 2003 17:55 IST

What is potable water and what are its sources?

Safe and wholesome water is defined as water, which is:

Free from disease carrying micro organisms

Free from dangerous chemical substances

The three main sources of water are:

1. Rain
2.Surface water - reservoir, stream, tank etc.
3. Ground water - shallow wells, deep wells, springs, etc.

In urban areas and big towns, the corporation or municipality undertakes the treatment of water from surface water sources and supplies it to users.

What are the pollutants common in water?

Naturally found water is not pure H2O. It contains natural impurities of various kinds - both dissolved and suspended impurities. These are the impurities derived from atmosphere, catchment area and soil.

They can be dissolved substances - hydrogen sulphide, oxygen, ammonia, sodium or suspended impurities such as clay, silt, sand, mud and microscopic plants and animals.

The more hazardous water pollution is caused by human activity like urbanization and industrialization. Sources of pollution resulting from these are:

1. Industrial and trade waste which contain toxic agents ranging from metallic salts to complex synthetic organic chemicals.
2. Sewage which contains decomposable organic matter and disease carrying microbes.
3. Agricultural pollutants like fertilizers and pesticides such as DDT, Aldrin, dioxin. 4. Nuclear wastes.


First Published: May 20, 2003 17:55 IST