Common Impurities In Water

Common Impurities In Water

The common impurities in the water may be classified into the following groups:

1. Physical impurities

a.) Turbidity - The turbidity of water indicates the presence of colloidal matter such as fine silt and clay. In some cases, the salts of iron and manganese may impart turbidity in water. The colloidal substance and salts may be injurious to human health.

b). Colour - The water gets colour from the discharge of some industries such as tannery, textile industry, paper industry, etc. Those discharge mainly contain lignin, tannin and other waste products which may impart colour.

c.) Taste and Odour - the discharge of waste products from some industries and trade contain strong-smelling chemical compounds which impart taste and odour to the water. Generally, the smelling compounds which free chlorine, hydrogen sulphide, phenol, etc. Such compounds make the water very unpleasant to consume.

d.) Floating Matters - At many places, the dumping grounds for debris or garbage may be close to the river. In rainy season garbage are carried by rainwater appearing as floating matters in the river or stream. Again, in rainy season different types of debris may come down with rainwater from the catchment area in the hilly region. These floating may pollute by decomposing.

e.) Unpleasant Gases - The presence of gases in water is indicated by the formation of foam in rivers. The foam may be formed by the absorption of gases while the waterfalls with tremendous velocity from waterfalls in the hilly area, or due to the whirling motion in rivers which flow with great velocity.

f.) Radioactive Substances - The nuclear power plant, nuclear research centre and some industries dealing with radioactive substance may discharge some waste products which may have radioactive property. This property seriously affects human life and aquatic life.

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2. Chemical Impurities 

The presence of the following compounds results in the chemical impurities of water:

a.) Acids- The waste products of some industries such as battery factory, explosive factory, etc. contain acids. If these waste products are directly discharged into the river, then it will be harmful to the aquatic life and will destroy the self-purification property of river water.

b.) Alkalies - The waste products of some industries contain alkalies also. These alkalies have the same effects as that of acids.

c.) Inorganic Compounds - The waste products of some industries such as fertiliser industry, coke oven industry, etc. contain certain inorganic compounds. These compounds mainly consist of chloramines, sulphide, ammonia, etc. which are toxic to aquatic life.

d.) Organic Compounds - The organic compounds may be of the following forms : 

1. The organic compounds may exist in water due to the presence of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, etc.

2. The suspended organic compounds may develop due to decayed fruits, dead animals, etc. The organic compounds like albuminoid ammonia are responsible for developing pathogenic bacteria which is dangerous to public health.

3. Bacteriological Impurities

The development of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc. in water is caused due to the fermentation of dead bodies and also due to the unhygienic discharge of sewage into the river without proper treatment. These bacterial loads are responsible for waterborne diseases.

Also, read - Water Pollution and Sources of Water Pollution

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