A new study has found that many Americans don’t how clean water gets to their homes – and what happens after wastewater is flushed or drained away.
Researchers asked people to draw diagrams showing how water reaches the sink and how it’s returned to the environment.
Only 7 per cent of the participants had an almost accurate understanding, and many used the word ‘magic’ to describe parts of the process.
Scroll down for video
A student-drawn diagram of the water treatment process, which received a near perfect score of six out of seven for including water system components such as a water sources, drinking treatment, distribution, household use, collection system and wastewater treatment
The researchers, based at Indiana University, Bloomington, asked 578 university students to draw diagrams illustrating how water reaches the sink and how it’s returned to the natural environment.
The diagrams revealed that 29 per cent of the participants didn’t draw a water treatment plant, and 64 per cent didn’t draw and wastewater treatment plant.
‘Climate change will increase the competition for water and the risks to the supply,’ said Dr Shahzeen Attari, a professor at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs
‘Water infrastructure is increasingly fragile.
‘It’s going to take political will and public support to respond to new and old risks, and we may not support the adaptation strategies we need if we take our water systems for granted.
THE WATER TREATMENT PROCESS
Water is first pumped from water sources such as reservoirs, lakes, rivers, or underground aquifers.
It then travels from pumping stations to water treatment facilities.
The first step in the cleaning process is removing sediment and particles from the water, with the help of coagulants.
Coagulants cause the particles in the water to stick together, and this process is called flocculation.
The water treatment process is a cycling loop that begins with obtaining water from a source such as a reservoir, lake, river or underground aquifer
Then, the floc is removed from the water via a process called clarification, and it can be done in two ways.
One method sinks the floc to the bottom of a tank, and the other method pumps air into thr water and floc, causing particles to float to the top.
Then, the water is filtered through carbon, sand and gravel and chlorine and ozone disinfect the water from smaller microorganisms that can’t be filtered out.
The water is then distributed for household use in showers, kitchen sinks and toilets.
Once water’s been used, it’s now considered wastewater and is either flushed or drained away, where it travels to wastewater treatment plants through pipes. Pictured is an industrial water treatment plant
Once water’s been used, it’s now considered wastewater and is either flushed or drained away.
It travels to wastewater treatment plants through pipes, where sludge and objects are removed from it via multiple cycles or catchment screenings and filtration.
Even after this, disease causing organisms can remain, so chlorine and other chemicals are used to disinfect the water.
Then, the water is returned to its source in the environment, and the process starts all over again.
‘Whether it’s in schools or through other means, public environmental education must address these gaps.’
Dr Attari and her team conducted the study in two stages – first, they asked 15 Indiana water experts to draw a diagram illustrating their understanding of the processes by which clean water reaches the tap in the average home in the US, and how it’s returned to the natural environment.
A student-drawn diagram of the water treatment process, which received a score of three out of seven because it only includes water source, distribution and household use
Then, the researchers asked the students to draw a diagram illustrating their understanding of the process, and to show all of the processes that the water goes through.
Only 7 per cent of the students had a near accurate understanding of the process, and many used the word ‘magic’ to describe parts of the process.
The researchers say that the students’ lack of knowledge isn’t an indication that they don’t care.
According to the study, more than one in three students said they think of water quantity at least daily or weekly, and their top three concerns are cleanliness, a limited supply and infrastructure failures that contaminate the water.
A student-drawn diagram of the water treatment process, which received a score of four out of seven for featuring a water source, household use collection system and wastewater treatment
‘Drinking water is the most essential among all resources,’ said Kelsey Poinsatte-Jones, a research assistant at Indiana University and a co-author of the study.
‘Most people expect to have immediate access to safe water, but the complex system that makes that possible is hidden from view.’
‘Given all the risks now that are related to water, it’s critically important that Americans can make informed decisions about water supplies, policies and management,’ said Kelsey Hinton, a communications associate at Community Water Center in Sacramento, California and the third co-author of the study.
‘Our study suggests we’re not ready to do that.’
- Child poverty up 1 million since 2010, largely because of benefit cuts and pay freezes, study finds
- Abortion Clinics Experiencing Surge in Death Threats, Harassment Under Trump, Study Finds
- Americans don't know how to 'unplug' on vacation, study finds
- Clean water is critical for small business
- Grammar school education has no positive impact on student’s self-esteem, study finds
- Cinnamon-flavoured e-cigarettes may damage lungs, study finds
- Nevada’s suicide rate among seniors worst in nation, new study finds
- Money helps smokers quit better than e-cigarettes, study finds
- Half of parents haven't visited a beach with their children in the last year, study finds
- 25 percent of Americans haven't visited iconic landmarks in their own cities, study finds
- Shanty town residents 'to get help to find housing'
- 10 Tips for Getting Your Swimming Pool Ready for Summer
- Nigeria: Residents Suffer As N1.1 Billion 'Completed' Water Projects Abandoned in Osun
- How Clean Water Changes Everything
- Kenya: President Kenyatta Unveils Strategic Water Storage Program Covering Entire Country.
- Tap water in some Denver homes contains elevated lead. Now Denver Water, CDPHE and others are fighting about what to do.
- Four years on, the people of Flint are still fighting for that most basic necessity – clean drinking water
- South Africa: Small, Local Solutions Can Crack Water Crises
- Nigeria: 'Water, Sanitation, Good Hygiene Practices Crucial in Fight Against Ebola, Other Deadly Diseases'
- Is drinking salt water good for you? Nutritionists give their verdict on 'health trend'
Do you know how clean water gets to your home? Study finds only 7% of Americans know how the system works - and many attribute it to 'magic' have 1130 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at June 1, 2017. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.