What does water quality mean?

Water quality (NWW).jpgWater quality refers to the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of water. We need fresh water to survive so it is important that the quality of water we use is good. South Africa is relatively dry, meaning there is very little rain in many parts of the country. It is important that the few water sources that we do have are kept healthy. Pollution is a big issue as it affects the quality of water sources. Chemicals from factories or litter leak into the water, contaminating it and making the water dangerous for us to use. The quality of water can’t always be determined by just looking at it. An example would be pool water which looks clear and clean but you can’t drink it because of all the chemicals we put into it! In the same way we must be careful when drinking water from rivers or dams, even when the water looks clean!

Wisdom from our clubs!
“Respect it, respect it
‘cause it gives you life
think about it just think about it...”
-River Renegades (Emzamweni Science Club)

What can you do?
Here are some ways that you can help keep our rivers and dams healthy! Never dump rubbish into a river or dam! Even leaving it near these water sources could have damaging effects as the pollution can sink into the ground and contaminate the water. Clean up rubbish whenever you can. We all need to work together to keep our water sources healthy. Do not wash clothes in rivers and dams with detergent or other harmful chemicals like bleach. Rather put some water in a bucket or tub and wash them in there.

Want to learn more about water quality and how to test your nearest water source? Look out for the latest edition of Spaza Space delivered right to you Science Spaza Club. With it you will find activities, produced by Science Spaza and supported by Wellcome Trust, on how you can test the water quality of your nearest water source!