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Water quality


Human life, like that of all living beings, depends on water.

But our dependence on water goes beyond biological needs: we need it to clean our homes, wash our clothes and our bodies. What's more, to clean machines and equipment, irrigate crops, dissolve chemicals, create new substances, generate energy.

This is where the danger lies: human activity often compromises water quality. Homes and industries can pour into rivers and seas substances that harm our health. Therefore, choosing well the water we drink and protecting rivers, lakes and seas are essential cares for life on the planet.

Potable water

Drinking water is one popularly called pure water. To be drunk by us, water must be colorless, tasteless (without flavor) and odorless (smelless). It must be free of toxic materials and microorganisms such as bacteria, protozoa etc. which are harmful but must contain mineral salts in quantity necessary for our health.

Drinking water is found in small quantities on our planet and is not infinitely available. Being a limited resource, its consumption must be planned.

Distilled water

Drinking water must have some amount of some dissolved mineral salts, which are important to our health. Water without any other dissolved substance is called distilled water. See how you get distilled water.

To remove mineral salts and other products dissolved in water, a process called distillation. The product of this distillation, distilled water, is used in car batteries and in the manufacture of medicines and other products. It is not suitable for drinking, as it does not have the necessary mineral salts for our body.

See how the appliance that produces distilled water, the distiller:

Note that water boils (1) with the help of (2) Bunsen burner (flame that heats water) turning to steam (3), and then condenses (4), returning to the liquid state. Mineral salts do not vaporize, but stay inside the glass where the water was boiled (called a distillation flask).

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Mineral water

Sea water is salty because it has so much sodium chloridewhich is the common salt used in the kitchen. Precisely because it has so much salt, it is not drinkable. If we drink seawater, too much salt will make us eliminate more water in the urine than we should, and we start to get dehydrated.

But fresh water from rivers, lakes and springs has less salt than seawater and can be drunk - as long as it is free of microbes and toxic products or has been treated to eliminate these impurities.

The call mineral water it is water that springs from underground sources. It usually has some mineral salts in a little more than the water used in homes and sometimes other salts.

Mineral water is generally drinkable and can be drunk at the source or bottled - as long as the source is protected from pollution and environmental contamination and the bottling process is done with hygiene.

Can the sea "die"?

In Asia, there is the famous Dead Sea, which is an example of how a sea can "die". The sea "dies" and lakes too when the level of salinity, that is, the salt concentration of its water, is so high that it does not allow fish, flora and other beings to live in it. This phenomenon occurs due to several factors, among them: little rain combined with intense evaporation (hot and dry climate) and cut or decrease of the river runoff regime.


Acre weir drying up.