We depend on clean, safe water for many things in our life, not just drinking. Water quality is important in the industrial, commercial, medical, and research fields as well. Imagine if we were using polluted water to wash our hands, power our industrial machines, or conduct experiments? Luckily, water quality testing kits and other water quality indicators that can help us keep an eye on our water quality and take measures to purify it as necessary. Big businesses should be looking at a water resistivity measurement and water conductivity controls to make sure that water is at the correct levels for safety and use. There are even things we can do it on our home (like using well water test kits) or DIY at home water quality kits to make sure our water is safe for drinking, showering, and other applications. If for some reason you suspect that your water might not be up to par, get some water quality indicators and do a preliminary test yourself!
How Worried Should I Be About My Water Quality?
This certainly depends on where you live, but in most places around the United States, access to quality water is easy to find. However, globally, unsafe or inadequate water and bad sanitation and hygiene are the cause of around 3% of deaths on a global level and almost 4% of disability adjusted life years. Sanitation and water quality go hand in hand — if good sanitation isn’t practiced, water courses can be easily contaminated. Indeed, inadequate sanitation is one of the biggest contributors to water pollution.
Furthermore, sewage, industrial, and agricultural waste is still being dumped into our water — two million tons of it, every day! Under 30% of the nation’s streams have healthy biological communities in their region, according to a recent study, and 44% of stream miles, almost 65% of lake acres, and 30% of bay and estuarine square miles aren’t clean enough to be used for fishing or swimming. That’s huge, especially since most of the public think that water pollution isn’t such a big deal anymore.
What’s Water Conductivity and Resistivity Got to Do With Everything?
These two measures are a great way to tell how pure water is. The purer the water, the lower the conductivity. Conductivity is essentially how well (or poorly) water can pass an electrical current. It’s affected by how many inorganic dissolved solids are in the water — organic compounds are terrible electrical conductors. Temperature also has an effect here — if the water is warm, the conductivity will be higher. Resistivity shows how much a material blocks the flow of electric current — if water has a low resistivity, electric current can easily flow through it.
Generally, resistivity is only used for high purity water applications, while measuring conductivity can be used for the larger spectrum of monitoring water quality.
When Would I Have to Test My Water?
Hopefully you’ll never have to test your water personally for contaminants, since public water supplies are tested on a regular basis. Suppliers must show the test results to their customers on a yearly basis as well. Since many residential consumers are tapped into their municipal water supply, clean water shouldn’t be an issue. The testing is typically done at the water treatment plant, so it doesn’t account for water mains or home plumbing sanitation, which is something to keep in mind.
However, if you get your water from a private water supply, like a well, it’s up to you to make sure that your water is safe and conduct tests of your own. Before you buy a home with well water, make sure the water is potable.
Even if you get your water from a municipal source, but suspect that something might be wrong with your water (funny smell, discoloration, etc.,) get water quality indicators and conduct a water test right away!
Making sure you and your family have access to clean and safe drinking water is so important. Know what to look for and how to proceed if you think your water has somehow become compromised with water quality indicators or other tests.