Water, a universal solvent makes up to approximately 70% of the adult human body. The surface of our planet Earth is covered by ~ 75% water. Every ocean, river, sea and biological fluid is water. Such an abundant presence itself projects the significance of this life sustaining nature’s gift. Due to its capacity to dissolve higher number of substances and compounds than any other liquid on Earth, the chances of unwanted components gaining entry is a higher probability.
Water is ideally supposed to be having a neutral pH of 7 to be certified as pure. Anything which alters the ideal characteristics of water like colour, consistency or pH to name a few is termed a contaminant. Some of these contaminants are extremely deleterious for the biological system and hence, their presence needs to be evaluated. How frequently do we notice, change in the taste of water we drink, or the quality of water used for washing, or develop pale health post drinking water from certain areas? The quality of water changes even with seasons in certain parts of the country, and with India being a tropical region, consumption of water becomes a necessity all through the year, keeping away the fact that a daily consumption of 7-8 glasses of water is warranted. Drinking water is also used for multiple purposes like cooking, sanitation, etc.
Water-borne diseases are one of the major preventable disasters which result in many deaths world over. Major water-borne calamities are caused due to contamination by pathogenic microbes which cause cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, etc. Also, other non-infectious contaminants like metals, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, etc. deposit in the human body and cause serious long-term defects including cancer. Though most of the potable water supplied is essentially treated, chances of contamination still prevails from various modes, like the water transport medium, storage facility time-period, natural disasters, etc.
Water apart from being used for consumption, also plays a vital role in many manufacturing units, industries and establishments. The quality of water used will definitely affect the grade of the final product, and hence testing for the quality of this essential unit becomes imperative. This initial testing will go a long way in ensuring quality of the final product, prevention from health risks, etc.
Since water is the basic unit sustaining life, establishments like hospitals, schools, colleges, societies should definitely get their water tested regularly to keep a tab on the quality. Also, settlements near industrial areas, refineries and manufacturing units should routinely get their water tested, as the ground water in such localities tend to be contaminated with toxic elements and pesticides. Such testing will ensure, a host of preventable clinical catastrophes are evaded, and also sources of contamination and leaching are identified for rectification.