Wholesome and unwholesome water

 Wholesome or potable water: Water is said to be portable when it is
safe and acceptable for human consumption. When such water is taken, it
promotes and uphold good health.  
or portable water can also be define as water that is:
v  Free from pathogenic organism
v  Free from harmful chemical substances
v  It should be colourless or
aesthetically acceptable.

v  Pleasant to taste
v  It should be odourless
v  It should be clean and sparking
v  Usable for domestic purpose
Unwholesome water: Is the water that is unsafe and
contains a lot of impurities and when consumed, predisposes man to series of
ill-health conditions. That is water said to be unwholesome when it does not
fulfill the criteria of wholesome water.
v  It has colour
v  It is tubid
v  It has taste
v  It has odour.
Health problems of unwholesome water:
ü  Increasing incidence of water related
ü  When unwholesome water is used in the
production of food and drinks, it can contaminate water which will in turn be
passed to the consumers.
ü  Increase in the cases of death and
mortality arising from complicating of water related diseases.
ü   Poor personal and environmental hygiene
maintenance which in turn may give the industrial and entire aesthetic value.
Characteristics of wholesome water
water to be safe and acceptable for drinking, that is, portable, it must posses
some basic characteristics.
Physical characteristics
v  Appearance:-Must be clear and
aesthetically appealing 
v  Odour: – Must be odourless. Odour is
caused by inorganic substance organic matter such as algae product, micro-organism
by product, decomposing organic matter.
v  Taste: – Must be tasteless, taste is
caused by dissolved salts both organic and inorganic substance.
v  Turbidity: – Must contain no impurities
or suspended practices. Turbidity is the measure of the clearity of water.
Turbidity in water is caused by suspended and dissolve particles with the
passage of light though water.
v   Colour:-
Portable water must be colourless, colour in water is caused by natural decay
of organic matter (leaf, wood, pest) and industrial waste and domestic waste.
Biological characteristics
water should not contain disease carrying organism e.g. bacteria, protozoa,
virus and fungus. Coliform organisms are used as indicators of recent faecal
pollution and drinking water should not contain E. coli in 100ml of water
tested. A high coliform count of 10 coliforms per 100ml or more is regarded as
being suspicious and bad.
Chemical Properties
a) Hardness:
wholesome water should be free from
substance which causes hardness, such as calcium and magnesium carbonate,
calcium sulphate, calcium chloride, magnesium sulphate etc.
b) Dissolved
water should contain a lot of dissolved oxygen.
c) Chlorides: wholesome water should not contain a
lot of chloride as this depicts sewage contamination.
d) Poisonous
water should be free from poisonous substances e.g. Nitrates, fluorides etc.
e) PH: portable water should be neutral, not
too alkaline, and not too acidic.
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