Drinking Water: Accepted Standards

Drinking water is the most essential ingredient to sustain life all over the world; it comes before electricity, a house, education etc. for most of us in the western world drinking water is something we take for granted when ever we open the tap or purchase a bottle of water. In developing countries where drinkable water is something the government or other private sector organizations provide as part of basic civil infrastructure, who ever thinks about the subject as something that every aspect of day to day depends on?

In sharp contrast to the underlying reality in the developed world, in developing and 3rd world countries drinking water is not something so obvious and regular. Too many people globally suffer from poor drinking water levels – not only in terms of sources and steady supply but also standards, regulation, purification and contamination of drinking water.

Hence, the drinking water accepted standards differ from one country to another and is very different to a citizen of the USA or Europe to a citizen in Africa, India or South America.

Sources for drinking water

Drinking water accepted standard is also something that is derived from the source where that water came from. There are various sources that humanity extracts and produces water from for drinking purposes:

  • Rivers, lakes, streams: this is a very common source for drinking water. Pumping equipment is installed at a suitable point and the water is transferred to consumers after proper treatment
  • Underground aquifers: an underground water basin, water percolates underground until it reaches an impermeable rock area. The water is then pumped out.
  • Desalination: a process that takes sea water or other salted water and by a few methods separates the pure drinkable water from the salt. Main technology for desalination plants is reverse osmosis, sometimes distillation is used.
  • Rain water: collecting rain water by various household methods, in a larger scale, rain water enters natures water cycle into water basins, aquifers etc.

General drinking water accepted standard

Regardless of which water source is used to supply drinking water to the consumers, there must be some sort of regulation of drinking water accepted standard. The supplier or even a private user that takes water from a source to his own home must make sure that the water is suitable for drinking in terms of contaminations of any sort.

In the USA, the EPA and other government organizations are responsible of enforcing the national drinking water accepted standard or drinking water regulations. The regulations and inspections are enforced and implemented to water systems and water supply chains in various stages and processes. In a global perspective of drinking water accepted standard the World Health Organization (can be found Here) had established certain regulations and standards, in addition, every country has it own standards and means to enforce and control water quality.

Drinking water accepted standard referrers to levels, quantities and the appearance of various possible contaminants, such as:

  • Microorganisms
  • Disinfectants
  • Disinfectants byproducts
  • Organic chemicals and other hazardous chemical compounds
  • Inorganic chemicals
  • Materials with high radiation levels
  • Particles or any visual impurity of the water

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