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Drinking Water: Taste And Odor Essay

3574 words - 15 pages

WATER PROBLEMS
Drinking Water:
Taste and Odor
Consumers should understand that many times odor and taste problems come about at the same time. Some of the more common issues associated with taste and odor include:
Strong metallic taste: In some regions of the country, metallic taste is present in water naturally. These waters usually have high mineral content which causes that particular taste. Some metals are easier to identify than others. Manganese and iron are two very common metals found in water whose taste is easy to identify.
Hydrogen Sulfide Odor: This odor is most commonly referred to as the rotten egg odor. It is caused by organic matter that is decomposing in underground ...view middle of the document...

The copper may be in the water naturally or it may be coming from within your home plumbing system. Copper in your system can lead to staining of tubs, sinks, and clothing. In higher doses, above 30 parts per million, it can cause you to become sick if ingested.

ENVIRONMENT:
Acid Rain
Gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide can react with water to produce corresponding acids. When this happens in the atmosphere, we get rain that is of acidic (or low) pH. The gases mentioned above are released into the atmosphere by certain natural processes like lightning, volcanoes, etc. However, the amount of these gases released due to factories, vehicles and different industries surpasses that produced naturally. It goes beyond a level that can be tolerated by nature.
Consequence: Acid rains cause stone, rocks, steel, metal to erode and paint to peel off. This means monuments, statues, bridges, buildings, all are at a risk. Going at the current rate, there may come a time when children won't be able to play in the rain because it scars their skin!

Wastewater
One cannot really control or stop wastewater from being generated. However, due to anthropogenic effects of human development, the components of wastewater are changing every year, so that more materials that cannot be gotten rid of are being added to wastewater and, ultimately, to water in general. If the amount of these substances goes on increasing, they will accumulate in the food chain. 
Consequence: Wastewater management, if not managed effectively, is going to eventually affect all kinds of life form. Eutrophication (discussed below) is a grave consequence of inefficient and / or inadequate treatment of wastewater.

Urban Run-off
Urban run-off refers to the rainwater running off land and into water bodies. This is a natural process. However, with ever-increasing urbanization, this process affects water bodies adversely, because the run-off now carries all sorts of compounds, chemicals and particulate matter. In the presence of trees and sufficient vegetation, only about 10% of the total amount of rain runs off into water bodies. However, this amount has been increased almost 5 times!
Consequence: Urban run-off causes deposition of oil, gasoline, garbage, heavy metals (nickel, copper, lead, zinc etc.), fertilizers and pesticides (from gardens and lawns), synthetic organic compounds, etc.; all of which ultimately enters the food chain and causes number of health complications. Urban run-off also partially contributes to eutrophication.

Eutrophication
Eutrophication, in layman's terms, means excessive growth of phytoplankton in a water body. Almost all natural water bodies (unless intentionally protected), are subject to water pollution; this adds a number of 'substrates' such as phosphates, nitrates, sewage, etc. to the water. All these substances boost the growth of plants (especially fast-growing plants) to such an extent that it completely depletes the water...

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