What’s in the water?



What does water consist of? By chemical formula – H2O – from two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Correct, except that this is a distilled water composition. And how about the water we drink on a daily basis?

The water present in nature, the same water that goes into our taps, is much richer because contains many more minerals, macro and micronutrients important for our health. Water ‘soaks up’ them by flowing deep into the ground through the rocks and mineral deposits.

Most of them have a beneficial effect on our bodies, but there are also compounds in water whose presence is harmful to our organisms.

Desired macronutrients in water

The desirable macronutrients in water are those that directly affect its taste and, by extension, the taste of beverages prepared from it, such as coffee and tea:

  • Magnesium (Mg2+) – has a good effect on the so-called ‘greenhouse effect’ “nerves”; if you have noticed muscle tremors in yourself, especially in the eyelids, this indicates a deficiency of this element
  • calcium (Ca2+) – regulates heart function; calcium-rich water supports proper cardiovascular function
  • potassium (K+) – important for regulating fluids in the body; its lack translates into fatigue and nervousness
  • sodium (Na+) – an element important for the proper functioning of muscles, including the heart
  • chloride (Cl-) – plays an important role in digestive processes, but what’s too much…
  • siarczany (SO42-) – reguluje prace komórek oraz skóry
  • bicarbonates (HCO3-) – important for a healthy stomach and entire digestive system

Drinking water also contains micronutrients, which help our body to function properly. They are present in the water in trace amounts that are harmless to us. These include m. in.

  • iodine – is involved in the regulation of basic vital functions
  • copper – component of collagen and bone, supports proper wound healing
  • zinc – invaluable for the immune system
  • lite – crucial for the proper functioning of the nervous system
  • boron and fluoride – prevent tooth decay, participate in bone formation
  • manganese – important for the normal functioning of the nervous system and reproductive processes

Even small amounts of these compounds in water helps us maintain our electrolyte balance, and thusgood health and well-being..

Drinking water stripped of all dissolved minerals, so-called distilled water, is detrimental to health not only because it does not provide valuable macronutrients, but is also chemically and bacteriologically unstable.

Which water components can harm us?

There are also substances in water that are detrimental to our health. For example, water naturally contains small amounts of manganese and iron, but when their concentration exceeds the permitted value, the water becomes unusable.

Grid water is constantly monitored for the presence and concentration of harmful compounds, while water from one’s own intake is worth regularly testing for their presence.

So what should not be in our water?

Returning to iron and manganese, their concentrations in drinking water should not exceed 0.2 mg/l and 0.05 mg/l respectively. Excessive amounts of these elements significantly alter the organoleptic properties of water, noticeably deteriorating its taste and smell.

Additionally, under their influence sludge precipitates, which damages water systems and is a breeding ground for ferrous and manganese bacteria. Drinking water with too much iron can also lead to tooth decay and cardiovascular problems.

For similar reasons, the level of sulphates and chlorides, of which there should be a maximum of 250 mg/l in the water.

Equally, nitrite and nitrate levels should be under control. These substances naturally occur in mineral deposits from which they enter the water, but fertilisers and septic tank leaks can also be a source.

Their levels in drinking water should not exceed permissible standards – for nitrate it is 50 mg/l and for nitrite it is 0.5 mg/l. Consuming water with too much of these compounds is unsafe for infants, children and pregnant women.

Also watch out for high concentrations of suspended solids that cause turbidity in the water – the permitted turbidity level for drinking water is 5 mg/dm3 . In addition to iron and manganese, the turbidity of the water is responsible for m. among others, sand and sediments from soils.

Such water is not suitable for drinking. The removal of sediment is relatively simple, simply using a simple sedimentation filter to restore the clarity of the water.

Bacteria in tap and well water

Water is a natural habitat for many microorganisms, including bacteria. Their presence in drinking water can cause a range of ailments, from mild stomach problems to serious illnesses.

For network water, its cleanliness and safety is taken care of by the municipal waterworks. Water that does not meet the standards of the Regulation of the Minister of Health on the quality of water intended for consumption is not allowed to come out of waterworks.

Betting systematically monitor the biological purity of the water and the condition of the water mains and dispense chlorine to kill bacteria and other unwanted micro-organisms.

The case is different with well water. As these estuaries are not under the permanent control of the ZWiK – they only issue a connection permit and accept the completed connection – all testing is the responsibility of the well owner or user.

It is worth regularly monitor the composition of the water in terms of physical properties (taste, odour, turbidity, hardness, pH), macro- and micronutrient content and microbiological properties.

With today’s advances in technology, there are simple and quick ways to improve water quality through treatment – softening, descaling or filtration of the finest impurities.