Potable Water

Potable Water

What is Potable water?

Potable water is the water which is filtered and treated properly and is finally free from all the contaminants and harmful bacteria. This purified water is fit to drink, or it can be called ‘drinking water’ after the purification processes and is safe for both cooking and drinking. Water is purified by various processes, some of these are by using UV filtered water purifier, by reverse osmosis, etc.

The water which is not potable or fit for drinking is called raw water and are mostly from the sources like groundwater, rivers, and lakes. Sometimes the non-potable water may also taste normal just as potable water, but it can cause major health problems. People in the developed countries don’t know the source of the water. In some developing countries like Africa, the access of potable water is still very difficult.

Potable water world map

Methods to make Potable water:

There are various methods through which normal water can be converted to potable water or drinking water

  • Filtration: Filtration is very helpful in purifying water. Basically, there are two types of filters that can be found on the market. Some are those which rely on carbon filters and remove the bacteria and others are those which use chemicals like iodine for the treatment of water. Filters are very heavy and require frequent replacement and are also very expensive.
  • Distillation:  Distillation of water involves boiling water and collecting the vapor and leaving the bacteria and contaminants behind. Distilled water is one of the purest forms of water, 98% of the contaminants are removed from the home distillation system and it gives water which is purer than that from filters.
  • Boiling: The easiest way to purify water is boiling. It neutralizes a majority of viruses and bacteria in the supply but it cannot remove all the heavy contaminants.

There are various health problems which are caused if we consume non-potable water, these problems can be reproductive problems, gastrointestinal issues, etc.

If the amount of lead content in water rises above a certain level then it can cause various complications especially to the young ones and the pregnant women.

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Practise This Question

Is clean water fit for drinking?