Opening the pot and getting water seems very simple and natural. However, not everyone has running water networks. On the other hand, it is not always suitable for drinking, but must be disinfected. Also, health agencies mention many different kinds. Thus, we find expressions such as safe, clean, drinking, improved and suitable for human consumption. Before I looked suspiciously at the liquid coming out of your vanilla, I read this note.
Access to safe water in India
In India, access to running water is a complex and sometimes difficult to control system. However, it has allowed even rural populations, traditionally supplied with water from domestic wells, to have distribution networks.
Water can reach homes through concessionaires, in the case of cities with more than 2000 connections or permissive, if less than that amount. All must comply with general provisions, inform users and control quality. Thus, different providers can be:
- ESSAP SA, a public concessionaire serving the Asunción area with more than 250,000 users.
- Sanitation Boards, which are cooperative systems created by the central government.
- Neighbourhood commissions, which function as sanitation boards but are created by local governments.
- Watermen, which are small private systems.
- Home wells, hauling from water sources, rainwater (25% of the population).
In total, nearly 4,000 ordinary water service providers supply 75% of the population, but 10% of these do not receive safe drinking water.
Does your home have safe water?
Before we go any further, let’s look at some definitions:
- Drinking water: is the one that can be used for drinking, cooking and hygiene.
- Safe water: it is drinkable and complies with chemical, and bacteriological standards, i.e. its levels of chemicals or organic substances do not affect health.
- Suitable for human consumption: it is chemically treated water to consume without danger to health.
- Improved or improved sources: these are drinking water from protected sources of faecal and chemical contamination. For example, drilling away wisely from septic wells, pens and agrochemical deposits.
Finally, in addition to being drinkable, the water must be acceptable. That is, its smell, colour and taste do not cause rejection, either for personal or domestic use.
For water extracted from underground or surface sources to reach each user’s canilla converted into safe water, a purification or purification process is needed. It basically consists of the following steps:
- Removing water from the source, such as a river or aquifer.
- Preparation: filtering to remove large solids and pre-chlorination.
- Flocculation: added chemicals that convert solids into flakes that in turn are grouped and easier to separate (flocculation).
- Decanting: deposition of the solids in the background by force of gravity.
- Filtration: Water passes through activated carbon filters to remove particles, odours and flavours.
- Chlorination: More chlorine is added to remove bacteria and viruses.
- Quality controls.
- Distribution: Water is now ready to be distributed.
- Despite all this process, water that reaches homes can have smell, taste or colouration, generating rejection by users.
- In the case of those supplying water from wells, safe water is not guaranteed.
- Water purification is recommended at home. This can be achieved by simple methods such as disinfection and chlorination at home, or by installing filters.
- Different types of filters allow it to be purified and converted into safe water: sediment activated carbon, ion exchange, or reverse osmosis. These can be complemented by ultraviolet light and ozonation systems to disinfect water without the addition of chemicals.
- We recommend that you consult with specialists to find out what type of filter you need in your home.
Also, safe water hand washing is the most effective prevention measure against coronavirus and other common diseases in India. Take care of your health and your family’s health!