Did you know that water is something more than just a liquid? That there is good water and bad water! Surprised? You can bet that I too was astonished when I found this out on The terms good and bad are relative terms that compare against a certain benchmark the quality of water. Simply put, there are certain characteristics of water that make it more than just palatable. More than just a compound formed by combining hydrogen and oxygen atoms. We can determine water quality in the light of how healthy ecosystems are, how safe it is for human contact or in terms of drinking water. Let us focus on the last bit; drinking water.

Untreated water could be containing biological microorganisms, the most common of which include protozoa, bacteria and in some instances, viruses. There could also be in it dissolved inorganic elements for instance, salts. It is also common to find dissolved metals in water that has not undergone treatment. The herbicides used in farms to control pests, are washed from the plants’ leaves and percolate down the soil together with the rain water to be part of the underground water, hence impacting the water quality. The byproducts of combustion of fuel (especially the carbon based), are absorbed by rain water as it transverses the atmosphere. 

The local geology of an area as well as the ecosystem plays a big part in influencing the water quality in that area. Human activities also play a significant role in determining the same, for instance, how sewage is managed and dispersed. If this is done irresponsibly, then the waste might find its way to water purification centers or where there are leaking sewer lines, they may cause a biological hazard to the water distribution system.

It is, therefore, imperative to understand that it is not just the clearness’ of the water you drink that matters. That is superficial. Look into the chemical as well as the biological composition alongside the physical characteristics. Then you’ll be really concerning yourself with water quality.