Common Impurities in Water

Written by AOS Treatment Solutions on April 17, 2018
what are impurities in water

Water is the world’s most precious resource. However, it is not exempt from certain impurities that can severely affect clean consumption. These impurities include dust, fine sand, clay, dirt, and biological contaminants.

Pure water is tasteless, colorless and odorless, but water from rainfall, streams and wells is known to harbor harsh chemicals and elements, including acid and metallic rust elements. Similarly, many drinking water systems also contain chlorine, as well as high levels of calcium. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the common impurities in water and learn why they are not safe for human or animal consumption.

What Are Impurities in Water?

In the United States, dirty or unsafe water consists of elements called Total Suspended Solids (TSS) that are not designed to dissolve. These solids include dust, sand, clay and rust. They remain suspended in water and cause it to become muddy or cloudy. They also lack the two essentials of pure water: hydrogen and oxygen.

Hydrogen and oxygen enable drinking water to become pure and basically dissolve most anything it comes into contact with. If consumed, suspended impurities in water if consumed can result in a range of medical ailments and illnesses. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Cholera
  • Guinea worm disease
  • Typhoid
  • Legionella
  • Dysentery
  • Malaria – most commonly associated with mosquitoes and germs in contaminated water

Waterborne diseases stemming from drinking contaminated water result in a staggering 3.4 million deaths each year. The problem is so significant that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even has a special department that deals with contaminated water in the United States. They also network with the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide pure water and treatment solutions for developing nations.

Types of Impurities in Water

There are several types of impurities in water drinking systems and reserves.

Biological Impurities in Water

Biological impurities in water are caused by the presence of living organisms. These include algae, protozoa, pathogens, bacteria, viruses, microbes, and parasites along with their cysts (eggs) in contaminated water. The latter are simply called germs, microorganisms that can reproduce at alarming rates. Contaminated water is also one of the main causes of gastroenteritis for people of all ages across the United States.

Colloidal Impurities in Water

Colloidal impurities in water include organic waste products and amino acids. This problem occurs due to contact with suspended matter and elements like sand, rocks and organic matter flowing in rivers, streams and lakes that renders water undrinkable or non-pure.

Sources of chemical impurities in water include:

  • Gases that are picked up from the atmosphere by rainwater and torrential downpours
  • Decomposing animals and plants found near streams, rivers and lakes
  • Industrial sewage and wastewater
  • High levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium, and chlorides in river water
  • Organic compounds stemming from agricultural and domestic industrial waste. These are known as anthropogenic contaminants, which are found in natural and drinking water.
  • Inorganic compounds stemming from medical wastewater and equipment systems

As mentioned above, microorganisms can contaminate water by taking the form of calcium and magnesium salts. However, these germs can also include silicates, along with ferrous and non-ferrous ion-based compounds.

Impure Water Solutions

With so many impurities in natural and drinking water, one of the best solutions for communities is to have the right municipal water treatment system in place. Water treatment systems help to eliminate aluminum, chlorides and other hidden chemical and elements from drinking water systems.

AOS Treatment Solutions is a reputable water treatment company with years of extensive industry experience in groundwater treatment, wastewater treatment, and surface water treatment for municipalities and industrial plants. AOS has the tools and expertise to purify all types of water. From pathogen removal to corrosion control, AOS is committed to excellence in securing fresh, clean and germ-free water for all communities and businesses.

Contact us online today for more information on how we can help keep your water safe.

Posted Under: Waterborne Pathogens