Major Factors Affecting Water Quality

water from kitchen faucet filling a glass

Water quality is the physical, biological, and chemical content of water. Homeowners should ensure that the water they drink and use for cooking and other household activities is clean and safe. Polluted water also affects almost every species in the ecosystem. Identifying the factors that affect the quality of the water coming from the tap or faucet in homes enables people to determine the most effective way to improve it. These factors are manmade, natural, and environmental.

Human Activity

Water pollution is a global environmental issue that human beings contribute significantly to. They pollute the water by releasing pesticides, oil, and detergents into the local water sources. Septic water flows and garbage can also reach these sources when people fail to dispose of them correctly.

Waste discharge is quite dangerous because it interferes with the quality of surface water and groundwater. For example, it increases bacteria, lowers the dissolved oxygen, and increases metal concentration. This problem is more common in urban areas.

All the released elements contaminate drinking water and can cause different diseases if homeowners consume the untreated water. The most effective way to avoid this issue is following manufacturers’ instructions when using pesticides and throwing garbage in the trash rather than down the drain.

Industrial Activity

Various industry activities such as mining, farming, and forestry significantly affect the quality of water in lakes and rivers. For instance, they can increase the concentration of toxic chemicals, lower the dissolved oxygen, and increase water’s temperature. These factors affect the aquatic ecosystem and make water unsuitable for consumption and household use.

Household Plumbing System

Various fixtures and components around the house can also interfere with the quality of your drinking water. For example, old pipes, faucet aerators, and taps can become potential lead sources, especially when they rust and contaminate the water accessed in a house. Homeowners can prevent this issue by cleaning these fixtures. You should also hire professionals to replace them when necessary.

Runoff and Sedimentation

These are the two major environmental factors affecting water quality in a particular area. When rain falls, it runs through the earth’s surface and collects or dissolves different substances that affect the water quality. For example, if the soil that the rainwater runs over contains soluble substances like limestone, the runoff water is likely to contain high amounts of calcium carbonate.

The rainwater can also dissolve heavy metals like lead if it runs over rocks containing these metals. Such water is dangerous for human consumption if the water companies fail to treat it before distributing it.

Sediment comes from different sources, such as soil erosion and the decomposition of leaves and living things. Additionally, water and wind can carry dirty particles to water bodies and contaminate the water supplied to households.

Water Heaters

Bacteria and sediment can pile up in your water heater if you fail to drain it at least once every year. This buildup negatively affects water pressure and water quality.

Atmospheric Substances

Various substances in the atmosphere affect the rainfall and quality of water collected in different water bodies and supplied to households. For instance, volcanic gases, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, and toxic chemicals are dissolved in the rain before it reaches the ground.

Plants and Animals in a Body of Water

These organisms can change the conditions in a river or lake and affect the water quality. For example, some animals can release bacteria and protozoa. Consuming this contaminated water leads to different diseases like cholera. Other animals also make the water muddy.

Water quality in a particular area often depends on various factors, such as temperature and human and industrial activities. Drinking water is healthy, but dirty water can cause more harm than good. According to plumbing experts, safe and clean water is also essential for appliances in a house. For instance, your washing machine will run more efficiently and last longer if you use clean water in your home. Therefore, homeowners should define the cause of poor quality water in their region and determine the best action to improve it.

At Greeley Plumbing Heating & A/C, we offer high-quality plumbing services. Our qualified and experienced technicians can inspect your water heater and entire plumbing system to ensure that they don’t have buildup that might affect the water quality in your house. We can also help you replace any old pipes that might be potential lead sources. We’re located in Glenwood, MN, and serve the surrounding areas. Call us today if your water quality is below standard.

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