Factors That Affect Water Quality Essay

1137 Words Apr 26th, 2016 null Page
There are many factors that affect water quality. The pH of water, the dissolved oxygen level, amounts of phosphates and nitrates in the water, and pollutants are some of these factors. The water quality of rivers and lakes are important because we often get our drinking water from them, animals and plants depend on them for survival, we use water for recreation, and rivers and lakes are often connected to bigger bodies of water. If water quality is not maintained, the environment isn’t the only thing that will suffer. The commercial and recreational value of water resources will also decrease.

The pH of a substance is essentially the samples acidity; however it is actually the potential activity of hydrogen ions. The pH scale runs from 0-14, 7.0 is considered neutral. Every one-unit change in pH represents a ten-fold change in acidity. PH 6.0 is ten times more acidic than 7.0 and a pH of 5.0 is one hundred times more acidic than 7.0. Small increases or decreases in freshwater ecosystems don’t have much effect on the diversity of species; however, a larger increase in pH can decrease species diversity, few species can tolerate a high pH level. The acidification of a given body of water is determined by the amount of calcium carbonate (limestone) that is present within the soil. Limestone acts as a buffer for acid in freshwater ("Water Quality, Drinking water, Corrosion and Water pH," n.d.). “Acid shock” causes a lot of damage to aquatic life. It is caused by a sudden…

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