Water Quality Parameter, Eutrophication, Water-Borne Pathogens
Water quality parameters
A: Physical parameters:
There are many physical parameters of the water to test their quality some of the physical parameters are as follows;
1: Turbidity: Turbidity means waste present in water present in water as in the form of suspended solids, clay, silt, sand etc. Turbidity is measured in terms of light penetration on the water bodies. Light absorbance is depending on suspended matter present in water. The source of turbidity is soil erosion, precipitation of metal of metal oxides, vegetable fibres,and microorganism contributes turbidity to water, soaps, detergents also produced stable colloids and result turbidity in water. The characteristics features of turbid water are brown or other colours. It is measured by FTU unit i.e formalizing turbidity unit or NTU i.e Nephelometric turbidity unit. According to environmental policy act, drinking water standards specify a maximum of 1 FTU.
2: Color: Pure water does not have any colour. Pure water should be colourless but it is colorful due to the presence of different kinds of impurities. The color is produced in the presence of water due to the presence of suspended matter, organic debris such as leaves, conifers needles, weeds or humic acid which produced yellowishly brown color in the water. Iron oxide also produces reddish color in water and manganese oxide creates brown or blackish color in the water. Water must be colorless, tasteless and odourless to be drinkable.
3: Taste and odour: If the taste and odour are present in the water then it is considered as undrinkable water. Their presence in water indicates that contaminants are present in water. Taste and odour are produced in water by decomposition of organic matter as well as some heavy metals. Measurement of taste and odour is done by using chromatography.
4: Temperature: Temperature is another parameter of water treatment process. If the ambient temperature is high, it affects shallow ponds. Many industries dispose warm water in river bodies. Also, thermopower plant also disposes of excessively warm water in riverside. In this way, human activities increase the temperature of natural water. Temperature has the indirect effect i.e eutrophication problem is created. At low-temperature biological activities ios either increases or decreases. Up to the temperature 10-degree centigrade, biological activities becomes double. Temperature change affects the reaction of chemicals and solubility of chemicals. It also affects other physical properties of water.
B: Chemical parameters:
There are many chemical parameters of water quality test, among then some are described below:
1: Alkalinity: Carbonate, Bicarbonate, hydroxide etc, if these kinds of radicals are present in water they create the alkalinity. Phosphate compounds may also come from detergents in waste water or water bodies. If these alkaline radicals are present in excess amount impart a bitter taste to water.It is measured by titration process.
2: Hardness: Calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, magnesium sulphate, calcium sulphate brings temporary hardness while calcium bicarbonate, magnesium bicarbonate brings permanent hardness in water.
3: Metals: Some of the metals ions are corrosive in nature and deteriorate the quality of galvanised pipes. The presence of calcium ion, sodium ion, magnesium ion, iron ion causes the corrosive nature in water.
4: Fluorides: Fluoride is found in the surface water that is toxic to human and other animals if its concentration is in excess. A small amount of fluoride is useful for bone. 1mg/l fluoride is acceptable in drinking water. It helps to prevent to form a dental cavity. Excess intake of fluoride can lead to discoloration of teeth,mottling is relatively common when fluoride concentration in drinking water exceed 2mg/l.
5: Toxic metals: There are many metals which are toxic in nature. metals like cadmium, lead, mercury, chromium are toxic in nature which is transported by food chain as well as for the disposal of industrial effluents in water bodies.
C: Biodegradable organic parameters:
1: Nutrients: If the nitrogen and phosphorus amount is increased in water then biological oxygen demand level is reduced which causes the eutrophication.
2: Pathogens: Many pathogens which cause the water-borne disease are present in the water which reduces the water quality.
By the human activities, nitrogen and phosphorus containing materials are produced in water bodies like ponds, rivers, seas etc. Fertilizers consist of phosphorus and nitrogen which is uptake by the plant in the small amount, rest of the fertilizers are run out in different water bodies. Similarly different detergents, washing powder soap consists of phosphates. These organic substances are deposited in water. If nitrogen and phosphorus concentration is in excess amount, phytoplanktons, algal bloom are seen. If phytoplankton number increases, the rate of dissolved oxygen is lowered in the aquatic medium. Lower organism gets suffocated and start to die. This problem is called as Eutrophication. Nitrogen and phosphorus concentration lead to enhance the algal bloom.
Upper living organism in an aquatic medium can survive but bottom level living organism may die. Algae and fungi itself start to degrade due to the excess production. Biological oxygen demand then becomes high.
Water-borne pathogens and their impacts on environment
Pathogens are the disease-causing organism that grows and multiplies within the host. The resulting growth of the microorganism in a host is called infection. Example of pathogens associated with water are bacteria which are responsible for cholera, bacillary, dysentery or shigellosis, typhoid and paratyphoid fever; virus which is responsible for infectious hepatitis and poliomyelitis; protozoa which are responsible for amoebic dysentery, giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis and helminths or parasitic worms are responsible for schistosomiasis and dracunculiasis i.e guinea-worm disease.
pathogen group and name
|Hepatitis A virus||Infectious hepatitis|
|Salmonella typhi||Typhoid fever|
|Shigella species||Bacillary dysentery|
|Entamoeba histolytic||Amoebic dysentery|
Impacts of water-borne pathogens on environment
Water-borne diseases are easily transferable to human beings if it is consumed without purifying using the different method. Thousands of children died in a year due to infection of different disease like typhoid, cholera, diarrhea, dysentery etc. Many children get victimized and are to be admitted in hospitals. In many parts of the world, water is taken directly from the river for drinking purpose. Due to this habit, lots of people get suffered. These kinds of pathogens have appeared due to the activities of humans. Many serious diseases are seen due to the impacts of water-borne pathogens.
Miller, Jr. G.T. Living in the Environment. Wadsworth Publication, 2003.
S.C., Santee. Environmental Science. India, New Center: New Center Book Agency (P) Ltd, 2004.
T., Richard. Environmental Science Towards a Sustainable Future. India: PHI (P) Ltd., 2008.
- Nutrients: If the nitrogen and phosphorus amount is increased in water then biological oxygen demand level is reduced which causes the eutrophication.
Pathogens: Many pathogens which cause the water-borne disease are present in the water which reduces the water quality.
Upper living organism in an aquatic medium can survive but bottom level living organism may die. Algae and fungi itself start to degrade due to the excess production, biological oxygen demand then becomes high.
- Pathogens are the disease-causing organism that grows and multiplies within the host. The resulting growth of the microorganism in a host is called infection.
- Water-borne diseases are easily transferable to human beings if it is consumed without purifying using the different method, thousands of children died in a year due to infection of different disease like typhoid, cholera, diarrhea, dysentery etc.
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