This was something that I believed till quite recent. May be it was not belief but something that I was used to. If I try to track it down, in the past, I feel as a child, we were not educated enough on this. ‘Clear looking water is clean’, this was the mantra imbibed in my mind.
I should say most of us were lucky to have not suffered major illness due to water borne diseases. Yes the water sources were clean, population was less and so the pollution was less, there were very less vehicles, the wastes were managed pretty well then. So, clean drinking water might have never been of much concern then. Consequently, the filtration of water was never a concern too. Simple ceramic filters were more than enough. Though, I remember that we were taught that the water should be boiled and filtered before drinking, all that mattered was how clear the water looked.
But the scenario has changed drastically, population has grown more than triple and so has the pollution, vehicles have multiplied at even higher rate, and wastes produced are much more than the production of vehicles. Changed life style, and the management of which has always been an issue can be seen through our eyes, smelt through our noses and observed in the newly evolved diseases.
Now I have learnt clear looking water is not necessarily clean. It is equally necessary for the water filtration techniques to be changed from those used in the past. Yes, the technology has evolved parallel with all this and there has been development in the filtration techniques. But these technologies are still not being used by many of us. The threats related to drinking water have doubled but the filtrations practices are still the same. The same old mentality still continues to prevail – clear is clean. We have to be aware educate our children well.
Water contains lots of things beside just its molecular composition. A normal lab test of water evaluates the quality based on 9 parameters including the contamination due to ecoli bacteria. Even with the contamination most of the water still look clear. For drinking purpose it is recommended that the water should have all the 9 parameters in the defined range.
Now we have to change our mindset. We have to change with the time and technologies. We cannot always test the water before drinking, so we need to have a proper water filter at our homes. It need not be sophisticated and expensive but it should surely be effective and approved by concerned organizations/associations. After all it’s the question of our health, our family’s health, and our children’s health.
-Suraj Kumar Singh