Test Your Water Quality: Everything You Need To Know

Water is the lifeblood of all ecosystems because it contains and provides precious metals, nutrients, and other necessities of life. Without clean water and clean water, the ecosystem cannot survive, so it is not surprising that contaminated and unhealthy water sources have infected millions of people around the world. To make sure the faucet in your home provides the cleanest water you and your family can drink, you can submit it to a series of water quality tests.

If the tap water shows signs of contamination, such as discoloration, bad smell, or unusual taste, you should test the quality. The water quality tests are carried out in a specialized laboratory. Most Water Filter Companies will provide water quality testing services to those who are concerned about their water supply at the lowest cost. There are three types of tests you can do to help isolate the contaminants and give you a better idea of how to purify the water.

Bacteria:

The last thing you want to get in your body when you take a sip of fresh water is a strain of harmful bacteria. Stagnant water can promote bacterial growth and cause serious infections to anyone who drinks it. The bacterial water quality test will examine any bacteria that may cause the disease so you can begin a treatment plan to get rid of it.

Minerals:

It is assumed that water contains a certain amount of minerals and nutrients, but it can be very harmful. The metal test will show if the water contains any defect in the metal that could be harmful to your health or to the health of the appliances that use water. Once you discover the imbalance, it will be much easier to start a treatment plan that will adjust the percentages of minerals and restore your tap water in perfect nutritional harmony.

Chemical products:

Our modern world uses pesticides and other chemicals to treat crops and cleanse our society, but these chemicals can often be harmful to our bodies if they are ingested with drinking water. The chemical water quality test will show you if these harmful chemicals can seep into the soil and your water source.

Water quality test kits

There are two main types of water quality test kits: the water dropper test kit and the test strip test instruments. These tools will help you determine the pH levels in the water and also tell you what is in them.

Water dropper test kit:

The test kit uses dropper dripper and specific reagents. You must isolate the sample from your water supply in a clear glass container or petri dish and use the dropper to place the detector in the sample. If the detector converts the sample to a different color, it indicates that the material you are looking for is present in the water sample.

Test Strips:

There are many types of water quality test kits in the testing sector; each focused on a particular substance. All you need to do to use the test strip kit is to buy a bar that looks for metal or chemical that worries you and shows the tape of your water source. If the material you are looking for is in the sample of water you are providing, the color of the ribbon will change.

Discover why water quality tests are important

Regular water quality tests are essential for anyone who does not use water in the city. Even those who use treated water in the municipality should also undergo a water quality test regularly.

Any number of factors can affect the quality of your water, including industrial waste, runoff from the farm, oil and gas pollution, or even your disposal (or neighborhood) of harmful chemicals and wastes.

If you live in an old house, you may have lead pipes in your home, or water pipes may contain the lead city. If you have any advantage in the water, it is necessary to remove it because the lead will lead to serious brain damage in children and adults. While a regular water quality test is recommended, keep in mind that nothing can be tested in water.

In addition to thousands of chemicals, there are also heavy metals such as lead and mercury, as well as bacteria and microorganisms in the water as well. If your city or city treats chlorinated water, as most of them do, you need to filter it. Chlorine ingestion or prolonged exposure to breast, rectum, and bladder cancer has been linked. Not to mention that the tastes and smells are terrible.

Chlorine is an extremely effective way to disinfect water and kill bacteria and microorganisms in water, but it must be removed before drinking or bathing in it or inhaling steam or mist.

The most effective and efficient way to eliminate these chemicals and toxins and protect yourself and your family is to install an adequate system for water purification. A filter that contains a carbon filter, filter provides no micron, multi-media block, and the exchange of maximum protection from chemicals, minerals, bacteria, and ions toxins.…


What is the best way to purify drinking water?

Drinking water from the tap at home is safe. But is safe also healthy? Water purification companies work according to standards and guidelines for purifying water for safe consumption. However, this does not mean that our tap water is completely free of harmful substances. But how do you best purify your drinking water?

Why drink healthy water?

The human body consists of more than 70% water. This means that water is the main component of every cell in our body. And not only our cells consist for a large part of water, but also our blood and lymph fluid, the space between our cells, contains water. Our body needs water to properly hydrate cells, tissues and organs so that these body parts continue to function properly. In addition, the moisture in our body ensures that waste (poisonous) substances are removed. We do this by sweating (through our skin) or passing it out (urine). Because water is such a large part of our body and has such an important function, it is very important to provide our body with healthy drinking water.

Why purify water yourself?

Our drinking water is more polluted today than it used to be. Environmental pollution has increased since the 1950s. And thus also the contamination in ground and surface water from which drinking water is extracted in the Netherlands. Water companies are therefore finding it increasingly difficult to keep our water clean in an affordable way. Your own water pipe can also cause pollution, think of lead water pipes that were still used in construction before 1960. These pipes release lead particles into the water. That is why more and more people are opting for filtering tap water at home.

Purifying water at home with the ZeroWater filter has several advantages:

  • It produces soft water, so less lime in the water. As a result, kitchen appliances last longer.
  • The water tastes better, unwanted flavors and odors are removed.
  • Coffee and tea tastes better with filtered water.
  • Contamination of the water, such as lead, pharmaceutical residue and pesticides are completely removed from the water.
  • The water has less harmful substances and is healthier, so that your cells are optimally hydrated.

Purify the tap water at home

The easiest and cheapest way to purify water at home is to filter the tap water. You can use a water filter from agwaterqualitynw.org The agwaterqualitynw.org 5-stage filter filters all dissolved solids from the water. Do a TDS measurement of the tap water in advance to measure the number of dissolved solids. Fill the agwaterqualitynw.org filter with tap water and pour the water into a glass. Do another TDS measurement. You will see that the meter reads “000”, which means that there are no more dissolved solid in the water, so you can drink 100% clean and healthy water. It’s that simple. Over time, if you’ll notice that the TDS meter reads “006”, which means the water filter needs to be replaced.…


10 reasons why the purification of water is important for human health

Purified water is the most important thing for any person in this world, It is used for drinking, cooking and other domestic purposes like bathing, brushing, washing clothes etc. It not just make our life healthy but also important for maintain hygiene around us.

The  tap water which is being supplied in our home might seem clean but possess various sorts of health-affecting bacteria and viruses such as fluorine compounds, chlorine, mercury, lead, pesticides and other types of waste particles.

Consumption of contaminated water can lead to serious health issues, and sometimes the result can be massively harmful. As per the research contaminated water lead the diseases like- diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio, and is estimated to cause 502 000 diarrhea deaths each year.

 

More About Water…

Water is a limited resource on earth which is chemically treated to fight with various types of harmful viruses or bacteria available in it, that makes millions of people ill each year (according to the research) and this is the main reason why water purification is most important.

Since our family’s health is in our hands, we must be extra careful with quality of water we are providing to our family.

Different types of purified water.

Usage of clean water is increasing day to day and there are so many brands are coming up in the market with so many products to meet the consumer demand of clean water. A very common type is bottled drinking water.

Following are the the different options? Let’s check!

Underground Spring Water

Spring water is one of the purest forms of water but actually doesn’t come from the fresh spring. It is basically from different underground resources. However, some research claim that spring water could contains arsenic, phthalates, coliform, and other water contaminants.

Distilled Water

Distilled water is one of the types of purified water which is processed through various filtration stages and involves of condensation and boiling of water. During this process both contaminates and natural minerals at the same time.

Distilled water is a type of purified water that goes through fastidious filtration which involves condensing and boiling. But the overall process kills both contaminants and natural minerals at the same time. So you can have clean water but, with the lack of minerals.

Bottled Water

Packaged or bottled water is only drinkable when you are sure about its quality and authenticity. In case of bottled water there are so many racketeers in India who are actively working and part of scam of duplicity of so many mineral water brands here so sometimes its become very difficult to rely on water quality in public areas.

Let us tell you the 10 main reasons why exactly water purification is important.

WHY YOU NEED WATER PURIFICATION AND WHAT IS ITS IMPORTANCE?

1. Water purification help to Keep The Environment Safe And Clean

If someone use water bottles, it means that person buy them regularly and throw the empty bottles to the garbage which cannot be recycled. Ultimately it means that  through bottled water using clean water and in exchange, and doing several damages to the nature. On the other hand water filters discharge the hazardous waste in correct way, it ultimately helps to keep the environment also safe and protected.

2. Helps To Prevent The Various Cancer Causing Risks

Different type of chemicals and viruses in contaminated water causes different diseases and can increase the chances of some kind of cancer risks. However pure drinking water keep things moving in  digestive tract and helps to push food through and get you the healthy digestion system.

3. Ensurety of Great Water Quality

Since water filters remove all sorts of available contaminants from your water, you can expect to have quality water consumption and can also decay over time. Water is used at our homes in numbers of way, like for bathing, cooking, washing, planting etc… The better quality of water you will use, the better atmosphere you can maintain.

2-4

4. Removes Chlorine From Water And Makes It Healthy For Drinking Purpose.

Generally, chlorine is used in swimming pool water that may result in the tanning but you can’t drink it since chlorine is not food for the health at all. Chlorine can affect your health in various ways. It can be responsible for difficulty in breathing, chest tightness, skin-eye irritation and other sorts of health problems to count a few. Hence, before you drink it, you need to ensure its chlorine free.

5. Water Purifiers At Home Can Help in Saving Money On Water Expenses

Once you have filtered water at your home, you will no longer have to purchase the costly water bottles that may mount up the heavy bill. Water purification system is a one-time investment and works for many more years. While you’ll calculate the amount you are paying for the purchased water, water purifier will be less expensive.

 

6. Filtered Water does not contain Lead Which Is very Harmful For Human health

Water purification machines instantly remove the available lead volume in the water. With this, you can expect to shun your family away from the diseases caused by such toxic. According to the experts, lead is the major cause of affecting the learning disorder among your kids. For the reason, having a water purification is highly recommended for you.

 

7. It makes human digestion system strong.

If you are suffering from constipation issue, start drinking purified water, you will surely get some relief. It can also help to storing the normal bowel movement. The major cause of constipation raises from the stomach, when we consume unhealthy food and contaminated water which is full of heavy chlorine and other harmful elements, it affects our digestion and leads to the severe constipation problems.

8. The Consumption Of purified water will improve skin issues.

With the regular intake of fresh and clean water, you will be cleaned inside and outside. It will add a natural glow to your skin and make it …


5 Benefits That Make Purified Water Necessary To Drink

It is common knowledge that water is essential to life because all life forms depend upon it. In fact, water is an invaluable life-sustaining force that all living things need in order to survive.

For humans, particularly, water is quite necessary because it serves as the fundamental solvent that helps cells transport and use substances such as oxygen and nutrients.

However, first things first, not all types of water are safe to consume. Moreover, water pollution may occur on a case by case basis; such as due to soil pollution; investing in a water purifier in Singapore is always highly recommended. Water purifiers provide clean and safe drinking water by filtering out almost 99.9% of impurities that may contain dangerous chemicals and metals, such as lead, chlorine, and silt.

Furthermore, there are many additional benefits that come with drinking clean and purified water on a daily basis. Continue reading on as we give a list of the main advantages that make the consumption of purified water a necessity.

1. Purified water strengthens the body

Drinking plenty of water is essential in keeping the entire body running.

Since 75% of the human body is made of water, people need to drink water every day in order to maintain the functionality of their muscles. Aside from this, water also helps in the production of the synovial fluid, which is necessary for the lubrication of the joints.

Therefore, to maintain a strong and fit body, people need to consume enough clean and safe purified water. Supplying the body with an adequate amount of purified water is vital in maintaining optimal joint and muscle health.

Moreover, since drinking water keeps a person hydrated, it also significantly minimises the chances of muscle cramps and injury.

2. Purified water is full of essential minerals

The numerous health benefits of purified water primarily stem from the essential minerals that it contains, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, iodine, phosphorus, and many others.

These minerals are necessary for the maintenance of normal body functions. Hence, people would not want these minerals removed from their drinking water.

Fortunately, the purification process of most water purifiers removes impurities and chemicals from the water without washing away the naturally-occurring minerals. This makes purified water the best option when it comes to having safe and healthy water for consumption.

3. Purified water promotes healthy scalp and hair

Hair damage and hair loss are common issues for many people around the world.

More often than not, these hair issues may be caused by the excessive amount of chlorine that is present in the water that people consume. Hence, the type of water that people drink regularly has a significant impact on their scalp and hair health.

To maintain a healthy scalp and hair, people need to be consuming clean and chemical-free purified water. This type of water has no mild mineral that can affect the health of their scalp and hair. Essentially, about a quarter of every hair strand is water weight.

Thus, by drinking enough purified water on a regular basis, people can easily retain their hair strength.

4. Purified water enhances skin health

Not drinking enough water can cause the skin to experience dryness and dehydration.

When the skin is dehydrated, the sebaceous glands are forced to produce more sebum or oil. Too much of this oily substance can result in oily skin that causes clogged pores and acne to occur.

The best way to avoid having dry and dehydrated skin is to drink lots of clean water every day. Increasing the water content of the epidermal layer of the skin is the key to maintaining its plump and fresh look.

To eliminate the harmful toxins in the skin and enhance its overall health, experts recommend that at least 8 cups of water should be consumed on a daily basis. Doing so helps the skin radiate an observable glow and shine.

5. Purified water helps speed up weight loss

Weight loss is a common problem for many people. It takes a healthy diet and an effective workout routine to burn the excess fat of the body.

Aside from this, drinking lots of purified water is quite essential, as it helps boost the body’s metabolism significantly. Having a higher metabolism has been proven to help people lose weight while also giving them more energy.

Apart from enhancing people’s metabolism, consuming purified water can also help suppress their appetite at a healthy level. Generally, purified water is absolutely free of calories. Hence, there is no limitation as to how much one can drink each day, which can be very helpful for those who are trying to restrict their diet.

Conclusion

Drinking purified water has a myriad of health benefits that can have positive impacts on the overall well-being of a person. These days, water pollution has become increasingly prevalent, as plastic and chemical wastes are continuously being dumped into the ocean and freshwater sources. Hence, it is utterly necessary for people to make sure that they consume clean purified water that comes from water purifiers.

At Wells Singapore, we offer a range of state-of-the-art and user-friendly water purifiers that come with several innovative features, such as a tactile wheel touch, safety LED lighting, and passive infrared sensor (PIR). We provide tankless water dispensers to help homeowners keep their kitchens spacious and free. With our award-winning products, we aspire to help homes have safe and healthy water for consumption and use.


4 Methods to Purify Your Water

Purify Your WaterIt’s extremely important to confirm your water has been purified or treated before drinking. If your water is contaminated and you don’t have bottled water, there are various water purification methods that are used today, and each method has its merits and demerits. Filtering is good for basic water tasks such as sediment and chlorine removal, but in the long run reverse osmosis is the best option. At Schultz Soft Water we focus on reverse osmosis units because they require a lot less energy and time required to make water versus distillation.

When reverse osmosis is not available, there are 4 water purification methods that you can use to make your water safe for drinking.

1 – Boiling

Boiling water is the cheapest and safest method of water purification. Water sources and or channels of distribution may render your water unsafe. For example, parasites and germs are things you may not see by bare eyes, but their effects can be life threatening.

In this method, clean water should be brought to boil and left at rolling-boil for 1-3 minutes. For people living in high altitude areas, it is recommended to boil your water for longer than water boiled at lower altitudes. This is because water boils at lower temperatures in higher altitudes. Boiled water should be covered and left to cool before drinking. For water drawn from wells, leave it for compounds to settle before you filter out clean water for use.

2 – Filtration

Filtration is one of the effective ways of purifying water and when using the right multimedia filters it’s effective in ridding water of the compounds. This method uses chemical and physical processes to purify water and make it safe for human consumption. Filtration eliminates both large compounds and small, dangerous contaminants that cause diseases with a simple and quick filtration process.. Since filtration does not deplete all the mineral salts, water that has been filtered is considered healthier compared to water purified using other methods. It’s one of the effective water purification methods that utilize chemical absorption process that effectively removes unwanted compounds from water.

Compared to reverse osmosis, filtration is considered effective when it comes to selective elimination of much smaller molecular compounds such as chlorine and pesticides. The other factor that makes filtration less costly is that it does not require a lot of energy needed in distillation and reverse osmosis. It is an economic method of water purification because little water is lost during purification.

3 – Distillation

Distillation is a water purification method that utilizes heat to collect pure water in the form of vapor. This method is effective by the scientific fact that water has a lower boiling point than other contaminants and disease-causing elements found in water. Water is subjected to a heat source until it attains its boiling point. It is then left at the boiling point until it vaporizes. This vapor is directed into a condenser to cool. Upon cooling, vapor is reversed into liquid water that is clean and safe for drinking. Other substances that have a higher boiling point are left as sediments in the container.

This method is effective in removing bacteria, germs, salts and other heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic. Distillation is ideal for people who have access to raw, untreated water. This method has both advantages and disadvantages. A notable disadvantage is that it is a slow process of water purification. In addition, it requires a heat source for the purification to work. Although cheap sources of energy are being developed, distillation remains a costly process of purifying water. It is only ideal (effective and least costly) when purifying small quantities of water (It is not ideal for large scale, commercial or industrial purification).

4 – Chlorination

Chlorine is a powerful chemical that has been in use for many years to treat water for home consumption. Chlorine is an effective water purification method that kills germs, parasites and other disease-causing organisms found in ground or tap water. Water can be purified using chlorine tablets or liquid chlorine. As an off-the-shelf water purification product, chlorine is cheap and effective. However, caution should be taken when using chlorine liquid or tablets to treat drinking water. For example, people suffering from thyroid problems should talk to a medical practitioner before using this product. When using chlorine tablets, it is important to apply them in heated water, as they dissolve well in water that is at 21 degree Celsius or higher. Chlorine tablets kill all bacteria leaving your water clean and safe.

If you are looking for the best ways of treating your water, Schultz Soft Water is your best source of advice on best water purification methods and custom solutions to your water purification needs. Reverse osmosis is the best option, whereas filtering is good for basic water tasks such as sediment and chlorine removal. Reverse osmosis covers a larger spectrum of contaminant removal.

Contact our team of experienced water purification experts to give you the best water treatment solutions. We will help achieve better health for you, your family and guests.…


Five reasons why you should purify your drinking water

There are many good reasons for wanting to purify your drinking water. Clean water is essential for every human being and by using a water purification system, you can ensure that the water in your home is always safe, sustainable, and free from unpleasant taste and odor.

Even though access to clean drinking water should be a basic human right, an increasing number of regions face challenges with a lack of drinking water resources. The challenge of enabling access to clean and safe water is not limited to developing countries – the United States and Europe also face challenges when it comes to drinking water, such as health concerns, contaminants, taste, environmental issues, and odor.

The good news is that a household water purification system can help you overcome these challenges and ensure clean drinking water right from the tap. In this article, we explain five reasons why you might want to purify your drinking water.

1 Add an extra layer of security

In most industrialized countries, municipal water treatment systems are usually quite effective. However public water treatment is not infallible.  There is an increasing number of incidents where contaminants from pollution, lead from outdated or faulty water pipes, or residue from the use of pesticides have found their way into the tap water. Extraordinary weather conditions, such as heavy rainfall, can also put a strain on municipal water treatment facilities.

Therefore, it is not unreasonable to want an extra layer of security to supplement your local or municipal water treatment. You can do this by using a household water purification which can remove a wide range of impurities from the water and will help ensure that you will not end up drinking unsafe water.

2 Remove unwanted contaminants

Lead, pesticides, bacteria, viruses, and many more physical, chemical, biological, and radiological compounds and substances, find their way into the water supply. It is virtually impossible to remove all traces of contaminants from your water, so the local water authorities regulate how much of a specific substance it is acceptable for the water to contain.

While water that lives up to these standards is usually considered safe to drink, you may have your own preference for how high a level of contaminants you feel comfortable having your drinking water contain. A private water purification lets you set your own limits.

 3 Protect your health

Drinking water containing bacteria and viruses can lead to serious health issues and diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, and dysentery. If you live in an area where such diseases are a risk, the most effective way to protect yourself is by using reverse osmosis water purification.

The pore size of the membranes used for reverse osmosis is measured in a nanometer, which is small enough to stop both virus and bacteria. In addition, reverse osmosis also removes common chemical contaminants, such as sodium, chloride, copper, and lead.

 4 Cut back on plastic to protect the environment

The annual consumption of bottled water worldwide can be counted in the millions. 35 percent of Europeans (50 million households) do not drink their tap water, and the use of bottled water has grown by more than 10 percent a year over the last decade. In general, bottled water is considered convenient because it is portable. But that convenience comes with problems and a high environmental cost. Costs such as pollution associated with the manufacturing of plastic, energy, and transportation, as well as extra water use, makes bottled water an unsustainable choice for drinking water.

Drinking tap water is not only cheap but also environmentally friendly. According to the European Commission, access to better quality water can reduce bottled water consumption by 17%. By installing a home water purification system, consumers can access clean drinking water directly in the home in an environmentally friendly way.

5 Improve the taste and odor of your tap water

Being able to drink fresh and clear water with a refreshing taste and no unpleasant odor can have a big impact on your wellbeing and quality of life. One of the most common complaints about tap water taste involves chlorine, which is an essential disinfectant used around the world.  When it comes to odor the most irritating is that of hydrogen sulfide. It smells like rotten eggs.

Water purification can not only help remove harmful containment but also improve the taste, smell, and visual appearance of your drinking water. It reduces the amount of chlorine, soil residue, and organic and inorganic substances.

All in all, water purification is an investment in your health, the environment and a smart way to reduce how much you are spending on bottled water.

Want to learn more about types of water purification solutions? 

Check out the pros and cons of popular purification solutions or download our e-book ‘The reseller’s guide to water purification by clicking on the banner below.…


The Importance of Water Filtration

We all know that access to clean, freshwater is fundamental to our health and wellbeing, and filtering our water ensures that this is achieved. Most water filters remove harmful chemicals and bacteria, which if consumed can cause diseases and general ill-health. There are many other benefits of filtered water, including a better taste, and being more cost-effective and environmentally friendly when compared to buying bottled water.

Water Quality in Australia

Although the Australian government is required to provide us with safe drinking water, we are still at risk of temporary contaminants such as chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, bacteria, and so on. A resident of an outback town recently found that the chlorine levels in her drinking water were consistent with those in her swimming pool – read the full story here. Chlorine is used in waterways to eliminate harmful micro-organisms, but this can be detrimental to our health when over-contamination and resulting consumption occurs. For this reason, along with many others, it’s important to filter your water.

What Some Water Filters don’t do…

While water filters remove the majority of contaminates, it’s important to be aware that different filters have different results. Some filters don’t stop all harmful bacteria and chemicals. If you are supplied by tank water and have a water filtration system and aren’t sure if you’re fully protected, the simplest and most effective way of ensuring that your water is safe and clean is by combining it with water disinfectant product. Our CleanOxide water sanitization tablets are great for use in water tanks – view here. We also provide testing kits to ensure your water is safe to drink, you can view these here.

UltraStream Water Filter & Hydrogen Rich Water Ionizer

The UltraStream is the world’s most advanced Water filter unit. It purifies, alkalizes, ionizes, and infuses the water with molecular hydrogen. And… it’s extremely affordable!

 If you don’t have a water filtration system currently installed in your home, we recommend using the new UltraStream Hydrogen Rich Water Ionizer. Simply put, it is a better, simpler, far more affordable way to alkalize, ionize and purify water. Benefits of this system include:

  • Removes Fluoride, Chlorine, Chloramines, Heavy Metals, and much more
  • Adds Beneficial Alkaline Minerals
  • Produces Alkaline Ionized Water
  • Molecular hydrogen production
  • Tested for the life of the filter
  • Fits most kitchen taps or can be installed under the sink with the under-sink conversion kit
  • Designed in Australia and tested for Australian water conditions
  • 3 Year Warranty

Ecosystem health indicators

Ecosystem health indicators assess how an ecosystem functions.

Environmental indicators have been defined as physical, chemical, biological or socio-economic measures that best represent the key elements of a complex ecosystem or environmental issue. An indicator is embedded in a well developed interpretative framework and has meaning beyond the measure it represents.

For an indicator to be effective it must provide a true measure of a component of the ecosystem. Selection of effective indicators is best achieved by developing conceptual models of the ecosystem and using these to pinpoint indicators that provide the required information. Examples of conceptual models can be viewed at:

As well as being effective, indicators must also be efficient. The cost and effort to measure them should be reasonable, and preferably not require highly specialised skills. This means that some effective indicators cannot be used routinely. Often, the selected indicators will need to be a compromise between effectiveness and efficiency.

It is highly desirable to put significant effort into selecting indicators. However, for aquatic ecosystems there are a range of generally accepted indicators that are commonly used in most monitoring programs.

Aquatic ecosystem health indicators can be broadly divided into four categories:

Physico-chemical indicators

Physico-chemical indicators are the traditional ‘water quality’ indicators that most people are familiar with. They include dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, salinity and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus). They also include measures of toxicants such as insecticides, herbicides and metals. Physico-chemical indicators provide information on what is impacting on the system. For example, is it an organic waste that affects dissolved oxygen, or is it some type of toxicant? Although physico-chemical indicators can identify the cause of the problem, they only provide limited information on the extent that pollutants are actually impacting on fauna and flora. To assess this, we need to assess the biological indicators.

Biological indicators

Biological indicators are direct measures of the health of the fauna and flora in the waterway. Commonly used biological indicators in freshwater include various measures of macroinvertebrate or fish diversity, benthic algal growth and benthic oxygen demand. The SEQ Report Card(external link) website has more information on these indicators.

For estuaries, biological indicators are less developed. The only commonly used biological indicator in estuaries is chlorophyll-a, which is a measure of phytoplankton population density. In coastal embayments, indicators such as seagrass condition or condition of fringing coral reefs are sometimes used.

In many aquatic ecosystems, the key influences on aquatic ecosystem health can be factors other than water quality, including habitat degradation and changes to natural flow patterns. Therefore, it is important to include indicators of these factors in monitoring programs.

Habitat indicators

Habitat indicators include both fringing (riparian) habitat and instream habitats. Indicators of riparian habitat include the width, continuity, extent of shading and species composition. Indicators of instream habitat include measures of the extent of scouring and bank erosion and the presence of woody debris (fallen trees, etc) that provide important habitat for many species.

Flow indicators

In freshwater, changes to flow are often the main cause of aquatic ecosystem health degradation; the Murray-Darling system is an example of this. Assessing the changes is therefore important. Changes to natural flow caused by humans are varied and include changes to peak flows, base flows, no flow periods and seasonality of flows. To assess these different changes, a number of indicators are required. Unfortunately, nearly all of these indicators rely on the existence of good flow data for both current and pre-disturbance conditions. This type of data is often not available. In this situation, less precise indicators of flow change can be sourced from assessments of the amount of flow captured in storages or abstracted for agricultural or urban use. These are detailed in water plans.…


How Industrial Agriculture Affects Our Water

Water pollution from industrial agriculture, including CAFOs, causes public health problems and huge environmental impacts.

Industrial agriculture is one of the leading causes of water pollution in the United States. 1 According to the 2017 National Water Quality Inventory of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 46 percent of the nation’s rivers and streams are in “poor biological condition,” and 21 percent of lakes are “hypereutrophic” (meaning that high levels of nutrients and algae are degrading water quality). 2 Water pollution from industrial agriculture can have many negative effects on both people and the environment.How Industrial Agriculture Causes Water Pollution - FoodPrint

High levels of “nutrients,” such as phosphorus and nitrogen (both components of synthetic fertilizer as well as byproducts of animal waste) threaten the health and biological diversity of waterways, which can result in loss of aquatic life and their habitats, shellfish contamination, and seasonal dead zones. 3 Polluted water also impacts the quality of life and incomes of nearby residents, posing a threat to public health. Beaches may close due to algal blooms, and fishing activities may be severely limited. Excessive nutrient runoff in waterways can impact drinking water supplies and, in some cases, cause severe health problems. 45

What Are the Sources of Water Pollution from Agriculture?

Industrial Animal Agriculture

Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), also known as factory farms, typically house thousands of animals, generating millions if not billions of gallons of animal waste per year. For example, North Carolina alone generates almost 10 billion gallons of animal waste per year. 6 Livestock and poultry on the largest CAFOs generated 369 million tons of waste in 2012. 7 Animal waste is stored either in pits or in open ponds, called lagoons. Such waste-containment areas often leak and, during large storms, can rupture. 89 To dispose of the waste, CAFOs spray this manure onto farm fields. The environmental damage from spraying and from leaking, ruptured lagoons can be devastating. Surface and groundwater contamination (serious threats to aquatic ecosystems) and excessive nitrates in drinking water (serious threats to public health) stem from CAFO pollution. 1011 Animal waste can also include pharmaceutical residues, heavy metals (like copper and zinc), and harmful bacteria, which can leach into water supplies. 121314

Chicken manure is especially high in both phosphorus and nitrogen. Many chicken farmers spread huge quantities of chicken waste onto cropland to dispose of it; far more is spread than can be absorbed, and often more than is legally allowed. 15 When it rains, the excess nutrients and drug residues run off fields into streams and rivers, seeping into groundwater. Chicken waste is also high in ammonia: when dissolved in water, ammonia is not only highly toxic to fish but can also be chemically converted into dangerous nitrates through bacterial action. 16

Industrial Crop Production

Nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, are two of the main macronutrients in fertilizer that promote plant growth. Synthetic fertilizers containing both nitrogen and phosphorus are applied imprecisely to farm fields, often at rates far higher than what the plants need or what the soil can absorb. The excess nutrients from fertilizer leech into surface and groundwater, causing algal blooms and nitrate contamination, impacting drinking water, recreational activities (such as swimming and boating), fishing/shellfishing, and marine and aquatic ecology.

What Are the Negative Effects of Water Pollution from Agriculture?

Algal Blooms, Dead Zones, and Acidification

High quantities of nutrients in the water from industrial crop fertilizers and animal waste cause excessive aquatic plant growth — a process known as “eutrophication,” which, in turn, causes “hypoxia,” or water that is low in oxygen. 17 Harmful algal blooms (or HABs) occur when aquatic algae grow rapidly out of control. 18 Some types of HABs produce biotoxins, which can kill fish and other aquatic life and cause human illnesses, while others use up the oxygen in the water producing “dead zones,” where aquatic creatures cannot live. 19

Nitrogen fertilizer applied in the farm fields of the Midwest eventually makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico; this, along with runoff from animal waste, is one of the leading causes of the so-called Gulf “Dead Zone,” an oxygen-deprived area 8,000 square miles in size, in which no fish can survive. 2021 In places like the Eastern Shore of Maryland, home to thousands of chicken broiler houses, rivers have phosphorous concentrations that are among the highest in the nation, which is linked to the estimated 228,000 tons of excess chicken waste spread in the state. 22 The Chesapeake Bay, which receives runoff from the many chicken houses on the Delmarva Peninsula (parts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia), experiences regular toxic algae blooms and dead zones. 23

Ammonia from agricultural runoff can also degrade ecosystems by acidifying waterways, which can affect the ecology of streams and rivers. 24

Heavy Metal Contamination

In CAFOs, excessive amounts of heavy metals like copper and zinc are fed as supplements to pigs and chickens, to promote growth and prevent disease. 25 Other metals present in animal waste can include cadmium, lead, mercury, and arsenic. 26 These metals accumulate in soil when animal waste is sprayed on farm fields and can contaminate water supplies. 272829 In humans, copper toxicity can cause gastrointestinal and liver disorders, as well as other health problems. 30 Copper can also damage the environment, negatively affecting soil microbial activity and plant growth, which can be toxic to fish and aquatic life in waterways. 31 Zinc pollution can also cause fish kills and damage to algae, crustaceans, and salmon. 32

Nitrates and Other Contaminants in Drinking Water

Elevated nitrate levels in drinking water can be dangerous to humans, causing low oxygen levels in infants (known as “blue-baby syndrome”) and low birth weight. 33 Elevated levels of nitrates in drinking water may also be an indicator of other agricultural-related contaminants in the water supply, such as pesticides. 34

While the EPA itself says that nitrate levels above three milligrams per liter of water indicate “contamination” and levels above one milligram per liter indicate contamination


Why you should care about water quality

Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and groundwater are valuable public resources. In addition to being powerful symbols of our state, they provide drinking water, recreational and tourism opportunities, wildlife habitat, water for agriculture and industrial uses, and more. Protecting our water resources will also protect human health, our ecosystems, and Minnesota’s economy.

Is Water Quality Important?

Potential or existing impacts of poor water quality in Minnesota

Human and animal health

Minnesotans get their drinking water from both surface glasses of water and groundwater. Though it is treated before we consume it, some types of contamination are still a challenge. Some communities in southern and central Minnesota are finding excess nitrates in their water from polluted runoff. Such water is unhealthy to drink, particularly for babies. Elsewhere, chemicals spilled or dumped at old industrial sites have seeped into groundwater at sites around the state.

Harmful algae blooms are also a common issue in Minnesota lakes during calm, sunny summer weather. People can become sick from contact with toxic blue-green algae, by swallowing or having skin contact with water or by breathing in tiny droplets of water in the air. Dogs are at particular risk because they’re more willing to wade into lakes with algal scum; several have died from blue-green algae exposure. Harmful algae are the result of excess nutrient pollution in the water.

Poor water quality has its most direct impact on aquatic wildlife, particularly fish, bugs, and plants. Excess nutrients, sediment, road salt, and other contaminants can reduce the variety and hardiness of organisms living in the state’s waters.

Our economy

Many industries in Minnesota are dependent on clean and abundant water, including agriculture, tourism, food processing facilities, power plants, and pulp and paper mills. Poor water quality can even affect real estate values for those who own waterfront properties.

Costs to taxpayers

Urgent Action Needed to Maintain Good Water Quality

Municipalities, counties, and other local units of government often bear the cost of trying to improve water quality. City wastewater and drinking water plants must ensure clean drinking water is reaching residents, and that wastewater is thoroughly treated before being discharged into lakes or streams. Soil and water conservation districts and other local partners implement conservation and water quality-improvement practices. If water quality declines, even more resources will be needed to restore it to acceptable conditions.

Transferring the burden

Minnesota is a headwaters state. We send water south in the Mississippi River, north in the Red and Rainy rivers, and east from the St. Louis River and Lake Superior. If our waters are contaminated, we are contributing to the water quality problems of our neighbors, too. In addition, we are leaving a pollution legacy that our children and grandchildren will have to address. It takes years and years to improve water quality once it has degraded.

Water Quality and Why It's Important to Humans | Rhodes Pumps


Improving water-efficient irrigation: Prospects and difficulties of innovative practices

1. Introduction

Irrigation systems have been under pressure to produce more with lower supplies of water. Various innovative practices can gain an economic advantage while also reducing environmental burdens such as water abstraction, energy use, pollutants, etc. (Faurès and Svendsen, 2007). Farmers can better use technological systems already installed, adopt extra technologies, enhance their skills in soil and water management, tailor cropping patterns to lower water demand and usage, reduce agrochemical inputs, etc. Water-efficient practices potentially enhance the economic viability and environmental sustainability of irrigated agriculture, without necessarily reducing water usage. To inform such practices, experts have developed various models of water efficiency, yet these are little used by farmers.

Through two case studies in the EU context, this paper will address the following questions:Why All Farms Don't Use Drip Irrigation - Water Footprint Calculator

When an IRR

igation area invests in innovative technology, how can its operation help

 farmers to achieve the full potential benefits together, e.g. an economic advantage, greater water-use efficiency, and lower resource burdens?

Why are innovative technologies often applied in ways which miss the full potential benefits?

What tensions arise among various objectives and potential benefits?

How can these difficulties be addressed?

The paper first surveys analytical perspectives on irrigation efficiency – especially the means, incentives, and limitations – as a basis to analyze two cases and draw general conclusions.

2. Innovative irrigation practices: Analytical perspectives

Innovative irrigation technology is generally promoted as raising water-use efficiency along with multiple benefits, but these remain elusive in practice, as outlined in the first sub-section below. The limitations have fundamental reasons, as outlined in Section 2.2. To address these issues, our case studies are introduced in Section 2.3.

2.1. Practical limitations of water-efficient irrigation technology

EU policy frameworks place great expectations upon technologies to improve water efficiency. The European Commission emphasizes ‘technological innovation in the field of water, given that water efficiency will be an increasingly important factor for competitiveness’ (CEC, 2008). According to the European Parliament, solutions should be found in ‘clean technologies that facilitate the efficient use of water’ (EP, 2008).

Such technological expectations arise in expert reports on agricultural water use:

Water-efficient irrigation, irrigation on demand and irrigation using brackish water are technologies that will enable the better husbandry of more scarce freshwater resources. Technological developments in respect of irrigation will encompass sensors and communication, intelligent watering systems and high-efficiency delivery mechanisms for water and nutrients, as well as the means of incorporating all of these elements into irrigation ‘packages’ (EIO, 2011: 25).

Likewise water efficiency can be enhanced by better using current installations and/or by adopting new equipment (WssTP, 2012: 9).

The main European farmers’ organisation has likewise advocated technological means to increase water efficiency. In particular, this needs ‘investments in more efficient irrigation systems, use of new technologies (e.g. soil moisture and canopy sensors) to better match irrigation with plant needs, and good agricultural practices’, such as conservation tillage, management of soil fertility, and water retention capacity, and scheduling of irrigation during the night to reduce evaporation (COPA-COGECA, 2007: 4). The basis for improvement is described as follows:

… water efficiency measures that provide complementary benefits, such as reduced energy needs or other environmental benefits, will also deliver better results. In many Member States, efforts are being made to increase the water storage capacity of soil under agricultural land use. The modernisation of irrigation systems has steadily progressed and water productivity has also improved considerably (COPA-COGECA, 2013: 3)

As indicated above, greater water-use efficiency depends on better agricultural practices alongside extra technology. Yet companies generally promote irrigation technology as if it inherently brings all the benefits (interview, COPA-COGECA, 08.07.13). Improperly managed ‘hi-tech’ systems can be as wasteful and unproductive as poorly managed traditional systems (Perry et al., 2009). When incorrectly applied, irrigation technology ‘can cause losses arising on investments made by farmers, thus decreasing the economic water productivity index and the overall sustainability’ (Battilani, 2012).

Beyond a problem-diagnosis of inefficiency, moreover, intensive farming practices can degrade soil and water resources, especially through more input-intensive farming in crops such as maize, vegetables, orchard, and vine cultivation:

Intensive arable production is partly responsible for poor soil structure, soil erosion, loss of soil OM [organic matter] and pollution from fertilisers and pesticides…. The expansion of maize cropping and the move to growing winter cereals in particular have contributed to soil erosion even further (Miller, 2007: 44–45).

Such harmful practices have been driven and supported by EU policies. In past decades CAP subsidies have tended to favour crops with high water demands, such as maize, thus increasing the risk of water shortages under climate-uncertain conditions (Garcia-Vila and Fereres, 2012). Either as price-support or area-based, CAP subsidies likewise have ensured the profitability of some water-intensive crops such as cotton which otherwise would be phased out under a market-orientated scenario; likewise water-price subsidies.

In some cases, water-price increases have induced farmers to adopt technology and appropriate practices for conserving water (Caswell and Zilberman, 1985). Yet water-pricing policies often have been ineffective means to reduce water demand (Molle and Berkoff, 2007Molle, 2008). Farmers experience rising water prices as an extra penalty. Rather than higher water prices, administrative water allocation or re-allocation lowering the supply often has led farmers to adopt water-efficiency practices (Molden et al., 2010). If agricultural water demand is inelastic, then policies which encourage changes in cropping patterns can be more effective than higher prices (Fraiture and Perry, 2007Iglesias and Blanco, 2008Kampas, 2012).

Inelastic water demand results from farmers’ perspectives on water benefits. Water-use efficiency (WUE) and water productivity (WP) are often used interchangeably but have different meanings. WUE specifically means the ratio of biomass produced per unit of irrigation water used, i.e. the sum of transpiration by the crop and evaporation from the soil (Sinclair et al., 1984). By contrast, WP means