Importance of Water Conditioning in Schools
Clean drinking water is essential for children. Having access to safe and clean water is a basic human right. In order to achieve this, water conditioning should be done. It is the process of removing any excess mineral content from a source so that the water can be consumed by people.
Since the majority of the water delivered by U.S. water systems contains a high amount of dissolved minerals, treating the water before drinking it is necessary. Children spend their time mostly in school. Therefore, they need to have proper access to clean water. Here are some other reasons why clean water is important:
Prevention of Waterborne Diseases
Because their immune systems aren’t entirely developed yet, children are more vulnerable to the effects of bad water compared to adults. Children who do not get proper drinking water and basic sanitation systems are more susceptible to common waterborne illnesses.
Though waterborne illnesses are typically lethal, they are easily preventable. Listed here are a few examples:
Cholera – Cholera is a diarrheal illness caused by a bacterium known as Vibrio cholerae. Although it is often mild and may even come without any symptoms, cholera can become life-threatening, especially to those who do not have clean water available in their area. People with severe cholera can develop extreme dehydration that can ultimately lead to kidney failure.
Malaria – Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that infects mosquitoes. Mosquitoes thrive in standing water because this is where they can lay their eggs and reproduce. People who get this disease often get flu-like symptoms that could be fatal if not treated immediately.
E. coli – Escherichia coli is a bacterium that commonly lives in the intestines of healthy people and animals. However, certain strains of E. coli can cause severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and even bloody diarrhea.
People can get E. coli by consuming contaminated water or raw foods. Although healthy adults can recover from E. coli quickly, young children can develop kidney failure.
Overall Health Benefits
Besides preventing any waterborne diseases, there are more health benefits of clean water. Drinking safe and clean water keeps your child’s joints, bones, and teeth healthy. It also promotes proper blood circulation. It can even help maintain a healthy weight into adulthood.
On top of that, having clean water readily available for kids in schools means they’ll have a healthier and cheaper alternative compared to sports drinks, juices, and sodas. It will lower their daily sugar intake, reducing the risk of getting diabetes early on.
Ways Water Is Treated in Schools
There are a few ways in which water is treated for human consumption. Each process may have a few differences. Nevertheless, the basic principles of water conditioning are still the same. Here are just some of the common methods that are applied in schools:
Filtration – In water filtration, water passes through a filter that takes the unwanted particles away from the water. The most basic type of filtration is mechanical, which removes sediment and dirt. Another common type is reverse osmosis, forcing water through a membrane and leaving the contaminants behind in the process.
Water Softening – Water softeners remove harmful chemicals and particles through a process called ion exchange. It eradicates hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium from the water using a brine solution and other filters. Although brine is used in the treatment process, the water that was conditioned via water softeners barely contains any salt at all. This type of water is known as soft water and is considered safe to drink.
One good thing about soft water is that it can help regulate a child’s body temperature. It can also aid in their digestion and lessen their fluoride consumption, lowering their chances of getting fluorosis.
Ultraviolet Sterilization – In this treatment process, UV light is used to inactivate bacteria and viruses that may be in the water. The water would flow through the UV chambers of the system, which is then exposed to safe UV light. What’s good about UV sterilization is that it’s chemical-free, and it obliterates microbes like E. coli and salmonella.
Water Distillation – This method involves boiling the water in a chamber until it evaporates. The steam is then captured and condensed into another container. The impurities will then be left behind because they are unable to evaporate. Distilled water gets purified by passing through one or more cycles so that it wouldn’t have any dissolved solids.
Staying hydrated keeps the body and mind running efficiently. By giving children access to clean and safe water in their schools, they’ll be able to appreciate healthy living.