Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

8: Water chemistry

  • Page ID
    • 8.1: Water Cycle
      Water is simply two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen bonded together. Despite its simplicity, water has remarkable properties. Water expands when it freezes, has high surface tension (because of the polar nature of the molecules, they tend to stick together), and others. Without water, life might not be able to exist on Earth and it certainly would not have the tremendous complexity and diversity that we see.
    • 8.3: Biological Contamination of Water
      If water is not cleaned properly, residents of a community can contract various illnesses. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites can enter a water supply unknowingly. All three of these species are pathogenic, or disease-causing. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) quantifies and monitors these pathogens in water systems that serve at least 200 consumers. The EPA classifies these contaminants as being microorganisms (even though a biologist might dispute this terminology).
    • 8.4: Chemical Contamination of Water
      The US Safe Drinking Water Act defines the term "contaminant" as meaning any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter in water. Therefore, the "contaminant" definition very broadly applies as being anything other than water molecules. Drinking water may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants.
    • 8.2: EPA's Primary and Secondary Drinking Water Standards
    • 8.7: Water Concentration Units
    • 8.8: Sanitation of Drinking Water
      Water treatment is a process of making water suitable for its application or returning its natural state.  Water treatment involves science, engineering, business, and art. The treatment may include mechanical, physical, biological, and chemical methods. As with any technology, science is the foundation, and engineering makes sure that the technology works as designed. The appearance and application of water is an art.
    • 8.9: Fluoridation of Water
    • 8.10: Other Water treatment processes
    • 8.11: Sanitizing water while traveling
    • 8.12: Bottled Water Basics
    • 8.13: Love Canal Case Study
    • 8.14: Flint River Case Study