Pumped water, is it ground water or surface water mostly must be treated in any way before it can be used as drinking water. Often the so-called raw water contains undesirable substances as particulates, bacteria, viruses, fertilizer residues and heavy metals.
Depending on the ingredients that need to be removed the method of water treatment changes. Self pumped groundwater is not always safe to drink. Depending on the rock formation in which the groundwater is located, it may have undesirable ingredients, for example
- high concentraion of flour (F) causes flourosis
- manganese produces a brown color but is not harmful
- marl and triassic result in very hard water
Surface water need not always be pumped with an expensive equipment but can be fetched with buckets and jerrycans at lakes and rivers. Surface water can be contaminated with the following substances:
- eggs of insects
- water snails
Even if the water has no turbidity and thus looks clear and clean, caution is advised.
In the tropics pathogens are often transmitted through water. Therefore, water should be boiled at least when no other treatment is applied.
For the tropics there are suitable water treatment methods that are easy to handle and little technical. They are explained in more detail in the following pages.