The contaminants found in drinking water are either microbiological or chemical contents. These contents however should not exceed the maximum contaminant levels. If the components exceed these levels, then they are classified as hazardous substances (EPA 2012). The following are examples:
Cryptosporidium is a bacterium that mainly multiplies easily in water bodies. This bacteria causes diarrhoea, fever and stomach pain in humans and even livestock.
Legionella is a bacterium that affects the lung tissues if infected. It causes influenza, pneumonia and fevers in humans.
Fluoride is a chemical component that can cause weak bone structure causing pain. This is mainly discharged from aluminium components and fertilizers.
Benzene is an organic chemical that can be caused by pollution from the factories and can cause decrease in blood in the body and the risk of cancer.
The chemical structure of benzene according to Benzene (2006) is made up of a higher percentage of Carbon and hydrogen, thus it is a hydrocarbon. It is soluble in water and reacts with polar solvents like chloroform, alcohol and carbon.
Some of the methods that can be used to clean water include:
Water purifiers which remove the sediments found in the water. This is useful for small scale projects. Ultraviolet treatment sterilizes water using powerful rays to kill the micro organisms in the water. Water can also be boiled especially if it is for emergency use or drinking. Other methods like distillation and adding purifying agents like chlorine can be used too (CDC 2011).
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