Water Quality Control And Water Treatment
Water quality control is determined by the amount of chemicals, biological materials and other physical properties that are present in our water supply. There is a fine balance between delivering a water supply that is clean and safe for human consumption and eliminating any natural or manmade pollutants that could also be harmful to human health.
This means that in all water quality control, two aspects must be taken into account. The first is the water delivery system that is used in the safety of the drinkable water that arrives at out taps or other water outlet systems. The piping systems that deliver this water need to be waterproofed and insulated against a number of pollutants that could permeate the water supply throughout the delivery system.
These pollutants are normally environmental and can be made up of the smallest piece of sand or dirt to chemicals that occur naturally in the soil surrounding the piping system. However, pollutants can also be manmade and could consist of chemicals, fertilisers, insecticides, etc. that can poison the water supply. Different techniques are used to ensure the viability of a piping system in preventing pollutants from entering a water supply and ensuring water quality control.
The ability to remove any pollutants from a water supply form the second part of water quality control. Most of the water that runs down our drains or is flushed down the toilet contains a number of biological and chemical hazards. The chemical hazards normally include detergents, household cleaners, sanitizers and toiletries that we use to keep ourselves and our homes clean.
Biological pollutants consist of bacteria, viruses, mould, etc that become present in the water supply. Effective water purification minimises the amount of these natural biological elements that could negatively affect our health and uses a number of filtration mechanisms in combination with chemical treatments to destroy harmful elements. However, the use of chemicals in water quality control can result in the water supply becoming over inundated with chemicals that could also be harmful.
Water purification solutions therefore also need to apply techniques to remove the chemicals that are used to treat the water for biological impurities and pollutants. It is however inevitable that all water will have some percentage of chemicals as well as naturally occurring biological elements. The trick in water quality control is to ensure that none of these agents occur in levels that could cause a severe disease outbreak or affect the human body in some other way.
This means that all water treatment and purification plants must adhere to strict processing regulations. Water quality control test are performed regularly at these plants to ensure that the water leaving the plants is safe for human consumption. These water tests are generally performed by specialists on site at a specified water treatment facility. However, random or specific testing can take place by the Department’s Directorate for Water Quality Management to ensure that water delivery in South Africa is safe and that all required standards are being met.