What is in your water and how it is made safe to drink? Do you know that all the water that we use on a daily basis is recycled? Water is considered to be a limited resource and we have to watch how we use it. A limited resource is anything that we can not make again or that cannot be replenished in our lifetime. I did not think water was a limited resource until recently. I also did not know that you could reuse water after we use it. After we use the water it goes down the drain and to a water treatment where they clean the water and make sure it is safe to use. In order to understand how important water us to living thing we must study the difference between saltwater and freshwater, the recycling of water, and how contaminated water can cause illnesses. Once you understand these things you can understand how the events in Flint can happen. The most common misconception about the difference between saltwater and freshwater is that freshwater does not have salt. While it make sense, it is not accurate. The salinity in the water is the biggest ¬†difference in between salt and freshwater because in freshwater you can still find salt. Another difference is how much saltwater and freshwater we have. Saltwater makes up 97.5% of the water on earth. The other 2.5% is freshwater, but only about 1.2% is water that we can actually use. Saltwater is also more buoyant than fresh water but can be deadly if you drink it. Overall, salt water is not healthy for living things consumption. Since earth is only made up of about 1.2% of water we can actually use we must recycle it. The first step to recycling water is actually using water. For example, whenever you take a bath or use the bathroom that is the same water we drink out of the faucet. After the water goes down the drain it heads to the water treatment plant through pipes. After the water gets to the water treatment plant its pH level is adjusted and the water is rapidly mixed with aluminum sulfate, it helps the impurities come together and form bigger particles. Next, the water goes to flocculation basin, where the water is slowed down and the particles continue to get bigger. Then the water goes into sedimentation basin, where the particles get heavier and sink to the bottom and get removed. After that the water travels through filters made up of sand, gravel, and anthracite, this removes tiny particles and microorganism. Finally the water is disinfected against harmful bacteria using stuff like chlorine dioxide, ammonia, and fluoride for dental health. In May of 2014 a small city in Michigan went through a devastating crisis. To truly understand what happened in Flint you have to go back June 2012 when the city started looking for a cheaper water source and in April 2013 they find it and they will start using one year later. On April 25th the water starts flowing into the city. In a press release the city made it seem like this was a temporary switch and wanted to ease the people’s concern about the safety of the water even though the city’s official took a wait and see approach instead of immediately checking the pipes for corrosion. In May of 2014 Flint residents start to complain about the smell and strange color of the water. And this lead to all sorts of health concerns like E. Coli, Total Coliform, and High levels of lead in people. It can also cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. It is crazy to imagine that things like this crisis can still happen in places like America with all of our regulations. Clean water is very important and to fully understand why it is important you must understand the difference between fresh and saltwater, the process of recycling water, and how contaminated water can affect people. And with the basic understanding of all of these things you can make informed decisions on where you and your city choose to get your water and how everyone takes care of it. Because if you do not have this basic understanding your city can end up like Flint or worse. Clean water is an important key to society. ¬†¬†

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