Water Quality Research

Water quality research is a multi-disciplinary subject which evaluates the quality and properties of water in relation to human and animal need. This is conducted on drinking water and investigates the various factors which affect the quality and safety of this vitally important liquid.

Water quality is affected by both natural and man-made factors which impacts on not only human beings but ecosystems in general. The quality of a country's or island's water supply is vital to its ecology, economy and the health of its population.

In response to that criteria have been developed to be used as a form of compliance when assessing the quality of a water supply. These are standards which review the quality of drinking water, safety of water for human consumption and ecosystems in general.

Research in this area is focussed upon treatment for drinking and waste water as well as decontamination of polluted waters. The aim is to ensure that water is fit for human consumption as well as exploring sustainable forms of water treatment which are kind to the environment.

Environmental issues

These involve the effect of pollution on marine environments plus freshwater, seawater and salt water settings which impacts upon plant and marine life in those areas.

Plus there is also the problem of unsafe water affecting human health via non-drinking activities such as such as swimming, fishing, industrial usage and water sports such as canoeing.

Water quality research not only explores drinking water but also looks at environmental waters such as oceans, lakes and rivers in which there are varying standards. These standards vary due to the presence of toxic substances such as chemical spillages, sewage, non-biodegradable plastics and rubbish such as that found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Environmentalists have set achievable aims regarding water safety in relation to human health and the protection of endangered species.

Research projects

There are numerous projects being undertaken into water quality around the world which include the following:

  • The quality of coastal bathing water
  • Inexpensive waste water treatment methods
  • Sustainable methods for waste water
  • Disposal of waste products from water treatment processing
  • Regeneration/decontamination of polluted waters
  • Developing new methods, tools and technologies for geophysical purposes.

Water quality research in Hawaii

Various projects are underway in Hawaii which includes water quality management, nutrient management and rainwater catchment. Rainwater catchment is a particular issue as many communities are reliant on this type of water for domestic use but there are issues of storage and safety with this water.

This means designing systems which enable rainwater to be stored easily and safely without the risk of contamination to human health from bird and animal faeces, roofing materials and other substances.

Rainwater is usually caught via a rooftop device which is then passed through the gutters to a storage container such as a large tank. This water supply is mainly used for human use and agriculture.

There are risks associated with this which has led to various forms of research being undertaken into ways of reducing these risks. These are carried out in conjunction with local communities and aim to provide them with the knowledge and expertise to use rainwater catchment systems to their full advantage.