The Effects Of Drinking Water On The Human Body

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The human body contains around 70% by mass of water. Most other animal lifeforms from bacteria to elephants contain a similar proportion. Plant life can contain up to 90% water. Water is one of the key components of life and as such is tied explicitly to the earth’s ecosystem. All sources of drinking water found on earth, contain naturally occurring contaminants. As the water flows though rivers, estuaries, streams and lakes, it absorbs/dissolves some of the substances it comes into contact with. Drinking water can also be found in underground aquifers, which is a layer of water bearing permeable rock from which the water collects between the pores and spaces of. An aquifer can also be made up of an unconsolidated layer of materials that…show more content…
Biological- Contaminants are organisms in the water, such as bacteria, algae and viruses. Radiological- Contaminates are elements and compounds that emit ionizing radiation (alpha/beta and gamma particles) . Examples can be coolant water used in a nuclear PowerStation, (water containing uranium/ plutonium) What are the safe/recommended levels of various ions in drinking water? Arsenic- 0mg/L Barium- 2mg/l Cadmium 0.005mg/L Copper 1.3mg/L Lead- 0mg/L Nitrate- 10mg/L Flouride 4mg/L How are these contaminants measured? Water is determined if it is safe when it is put through scientific testing. To identify the substances present in a drinking source, samples of the water need to be collected. Technicians analyse these samples in a laboratory with specialised instruments and procedures. Certain measurements such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and conductivity are best taken at the point of collection. Today 's analytical laboratory instruments such as "plasma emission spectrometer" (for analysing metals) and "gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer" (for analysing pesticides, PCBs dioxins, and other organic compounds)are used by the CSIRO in Australia and the EPA in America. The most common measured chemical parameters include pH, the presence of faecal coliform, (bacteria from sewerage), is also determined using a chemical test. Some "chemical" measurements actually indicate the physical presence of pollutants in water. These include
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