Potable vs non-potable water
Potable water, also known as drinking water, is water that is safe to consume by humans and animals. Non-potable water, on the other hand, is water that is not safe to drink and may contain harmful contaminants that can cause health problems.
The primary difference between potable and non-potable water is their level of purity. Potable water is treated to remove impurities and contaminants, and is tested regularly to ensure that it meets the safety standards set by the government. Non-potable water, on the other hand, is not treated or may not have been treated enough to remove impurities and may contain harmful bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants that can cause illness.
In terms of treatment, potable water is usually treated using a combination of methods such as filtration, chlorination, and ozonation to remove impurities. Filtration is the process of removing solid particles such as dirt, sediment, and debris from the water. Chlorination is the process of adding chlorine to the water to kill harmful bacteria and viruses, and ozonation is the process of adding ozone to the water to purify it.
Non-potable water, on the other hand, may only be partially treated, if at all, and may contain high levels of pollutants such as heavy metals, pesticides, and industrial chemicals that can cause health problems. Some non-potable water sources may also contain naturally occurring contaminants such as high levels of sulfur or iron that make the water unappealing to drink.
Another difference between potable and non-potable water is their intended use. Potable water is used for drinking, cooking, and other household uses, while non-potable water is used for non-consumptive purposes such as irrigation, industrial use, and firefighting.
It's important to note that even with the treatment and testing, the water in different place still can have different quality, some place may have harder water and high mineral content, for example. It's also, potable water can be contaminated by various means, for example, lead in old pipings, or by bacteria and viruses during distribution.
In summary, the main difference between potable and non-potable water is the level of purity and intended use. Potable water is treated to remove impurities and is safe to drink, while non-potable water may contain harmful contaminants and is not safe to drink. It's important to be aware of the source of the water and understand if it is potable or non-potable before consuming it, and also to be aware of any local warning regarding water contamination.