Color of Drinking Water

What color is water?

Ordinarily we think of water as being blue in color. When artists paint bodies of water they generally color them blue or blue-green. While water does reflect blue-green light, noticeable in great depths, it should appear colorless as used in the home.

Ideally, water from the tap is not blue or blue-green. If such is the case, there are certain foreign substances in the water. Infinitely small microscopic particles add color to water. Colloidal suspensions and noncolloidal organic acids, as well as neutral salts, also affect the color of the water. The color in water is primarily of vegetable origin and is extracted from leaves and aquatic plants. Naturally, water draining from swamps has the most intense coloring. The bleaching action of sunlight plus the aging of water gradually dissipates this color, however. All surface waters possess some degree of color. Likewise, some shallow wells, springs, and an occasional deep well can contain noticeable coloring. In general, however, water from deep wells is practically colorless.

An arbitrary standard scale has been developed for measuring color intensity in water samples. When water is rated as having a color of 5 units, it means: the color of this water is equal in intensity to the color of distilled water containing 5 milligrams of platinum as potassium chloroplatinate per liter. Highly colored water is objectionable for most process work in the industrial field because excessive color causes stains. And while color is not a factor of great concern in relation to household applications, excessive color lacks appeal from an esthetic standpoint in potable water. Further, it can cause staining. U.S. EPA Secondary Drinking Water Regulations recommend that potable water possess a color of fewer than 15 units. In general, color is reduced or removed from water through the use of coagulation, settling, and filtration techniques. Aluminum sulfate is the most widely used coagulant for this purpose. Superchlorination activated carbon filters and potassium permanganate have been used with varying degrees of success in removing color.

According to recent news and reports, most tap and well water in the U.S. are not safe for drinking due to heavy industrial and environmental pollution. Toxic bacteria, chemicals, and heavy metals routinely penetrate and pollute our natural water sources making people sick while exposing them to long-term health consequences such as liver damage, cancer, and other serious conditions. We have reached the point where all sources of our drinking water, including municipal water systems, wells, lakes, rivers, and even glaciers, contain some level of contamination. Even some brands of bottled water have been found to contain high levels of contaminants in addition to plastic chemicals leaching from the bottle.

A good water filtration system installed in your home is the only way to proactively monitor and ensure the quality and safety of your drinking water. Reverse osmosis water purification systems can remove 90-99% of all contaminants from the city and well water to deliver healthy drinking water for you and your family.

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