Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater). This form of environmental degradation occurs when pollutants are directly or indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.
Naturally sourced water can be polluted in many ways.
Water can be contaminated at:
- the source, such as the river or bore
- in storage, such as in elevated tanks
- in the pipe system which delivers water to the user
Water can be contaminated or polluted by:
- Organic materials such as:
- animal carcasses
- animal and human faeces and sewage
- food waste
- plant matter (grass, leaves, wood)
- oil, petrol and grease
- Inorganic materials such as:
- scrap metal and junk
Many of these materials can carry disease-causing germs into water supplies. Chemicals in the water supply can poison people and other animals.
Environmental Health Solutions (EHS) consultants conduct water analysis to assess the quality of water. Water sampling, analysis and subsequent comparison of results with EPA or other State and National guidelines is required to assess water quality utilised or proposed for human use (i.e. drinking, swimming), irrigation and stock use. Additionally, commercial and industrial requirements such as waste water disposal to sewer as part of a Trade Waste Agreement require water monitoring to ensure the water is suitable for disposal.
Water quality monitoring is often necessary for EPA compliance, environmental site assessment and environmental audit works, which EHS specialises in. Such works may require a groundwater assessment, as water analysis from groundwater bores provides an indication of contamination migration through soils. Soil analysis is also performed in these scenarios.
EHS ensures all water samples are analysed by analytical laboratories with National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation for reliable analysis services and results.