The biggest problem with ingesting water is that there is no gauge that tells us the purity of it purely from looking at it. There are signs when water is obviously not safe for consumption, like when it is full of oil, dirty, or just plain murky, but when water is clear there is no litmus test that we have on hand to tell if it is safe from all contaminants or not.
Being an outdoor enthusiast, the problem that I have found which is widespread to those of us who are in search of the perfect well to partake from, is that not many know exactly what it is that makes water unhealthy. Due to the marketing of outdoor water purification products, we are being fed untruths, half truths, or ommitance of what the real concerns to safe drinking water really is.
When it comes right down to it, it is very simple, there are 5 main categories of contaminants which make water unsafe to drink. If you try to make it anymore complex than that you can get caught up in things that don’t matter much. Those five things are:
• Chemical pollutants
The Details You Need To Know To Purify Water
Parasites are probably something you have heard of in biology class. They are the organisms that live and breed specifically because they feed and live off of a host. Parasites, which are found in water, can be simple single-cell organisms, or multi-cellular organisms.
Turbidity is the one which will most likely dissuade you from drinking outdoor water. It is thick, cloudy or murky. The reason for the contaminants in the water is often due to mud, silt, sand or other tiny organic compounds which are noticeable in the water. It is imperative that you remove these types of contaminants, not just for the taste of the water you drink, but because these sorts of contaminants can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Removing them first is important as they can have an effect on any chemical treatments you attempt to use going forward.
Viruses, unlike bacteria, are not cells and therefore lack the same attributes. When a virus stands alone, as a single static compound, it cannot replicate or alter its parts. A virus needs the assistance of a cell to acquire the ability to affect a living system and to reproduce. Not all viruses will cause disease in the organisms that they invade. Viruses are one of the most common causes of what is known as “travelers diarrhea” due to consumption of them being present in the ingested drinking water. Both Polio and Hepatitis A are two such viruses that result from ingesting water which is contaminated with fecal matter. They are hard to detect because they are measured in billions of metros, or nanos, one of the smallest contaminants in found in water.
Bacteria is an organism that is composed of a group of single-cell organisms. Not all of them are harmful, but some of them can cause disease. Those diseases can range from infection which can be mild to deadly. Bacteria is found in air, soil, water and just about any tissue of animals or plants on earth. Originally observed in the 1700s, we know a lot about the way that bacterias behave, and how to treat for them. Their particles are larger than viral organisms, but they are smaller than protozoa. Typhoid fever is one such bacterial infection which is caused by contaminated water.
Protozoa are the most simplistic colorless microbial organisms that are capable of moving. They survive by eating other organism, or parts of organisms. They don’t have the cell wall which is present in fungi and algae, they more closely resemble the cells of animals. They are more commonly lining free, but they can be the cause of disease in both animals and humans. Two examples of disease caused by Protozoa are Giardia and Cryptosporidium.
Chemical pollutants can be anything from pesticides to heavy metals. They are found in wilderness and national park areas which are nearby to mining, agriculture and forestry.