Key Natural Factors in Water Quality
There are numerous factors that can affect the quality of water, both on the surface and groundwater. When water moves, either over or under land, it can undergo both physical and chemical changes that directly impact its properties.
At AshtonTucker, our water and wastewater processing equipment can offer you solutions regardless of the state of the water being treated. It’s important, though, to understand a few basics about the factors that go into water quality before it hits our water treatment equipment. Let’s take a look at some of these factors.
Sediment and Organic Materials
Sediment includes all particles derived from soil, rock or organic matter that have been transported by water or wind. Natural organic materials include plant debris, plus human and animal waste. Sediment may be influenced by erosion, which can come from human activity, and sediment can increase the potential for floods – it decreases reservoir storage and stream-channel capacity. In some cases, harmful materials can attach to sediments and move with them down the steam system.
Any organic or inorganic compound needed to sustain life counts as a nutrient – carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Nutrients contribute to all sorts of types of water, and an excess amount of them in water can result in too large a quantity of aquatic vegetation. This vegetation can decompose, and remove oxygen from water.
Bacteria can be delivered to surface water via overflows, leaking septic tanks and runoff from feedlots or pastures. Some bacteria are a threat to humans, and indicator bacteria are found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals. When water is determined to have indicator bacteria, it might be contaminated by untreated sewage and contain other dangerous organisms.
Substances like solvents, pesticides and certain metals can lead to sickness, genetic disorders and even death in some cases. These chemicals can enter water via direct discharge, or via improper disposal for various industries. Even very low concentrations of these chemicals can be hazardous to both humans and aquatic life. Many of these dangers are only being recently understood, and our ability to detect smaller concentrations is growing.
Want to learn more about factors in water quality, or any of our water processing equipment? Speak to the experts at Ashton Tucker today.