The term “water quality” is used to describe the microbiological, physical and chemical properties of water that determine its fitness for different uses. Many of these properties are controlled or influenced by substances that are either dissolved or suspended in the water.
Colour and Appearance
Taste and Smell
Hard and Soft Water
Water Quality guidelines
The guidelines for the key substances are divided into four groups according to the following criteria:
Group A - substances that are general indicators of water quality and should be frequently tested at all point in the water supply system.
Group B – substances that are commonly present at concentrations, which may lead to health problems and should always be determined before water is supplied.
Group C - substances that occur less frequently at concentrations of real concern to health, but should always be tested in areas of country where soft water of low pH value is used.
Group D - substances that may commonly be present at concentrations of aesthetic and economic concern in domestic water sources .
Water quality affects the domestic user in terms of:
Health If drinking water contains unsafe levels of contaminants, it can cause health effects, such as gastrointestinal illnesses, nervous system or reproductive effects, and chronic diseases such as cancer.
Aesthetics (appearance of the water or the effects it has on the clothes and household fixtures such as baths)
Economics (replacement of pipes, hot water geysers etc)
The health effects of water quality on the user can be divided into two types:
Acute effects: Effects that can be seen after a very short time.
Chronic effects: Effects that show only after the water has been used for a long time.