In the UK, we expect access to clean drinking water each time we turn on the tap. For all of our lives it has always been this way and, no doubt, we’ll continue to expect this in the future. We can’t help but take for granted our easy access to water, and while we are incredibly lucky for this, most of us have no idea where our water comes from or where it goes.
Groundwater, which makes up around 22% of the water we use, is the water beneath the earth’s surface filling cracks and other openings in beds of rock and sand. Water that has been absorbed deep into the ground can be accessed via wells and boreholes. It is often relatively clean and very rich in minerals, which makes it ideal if you need water for irrigation or watering your garden.
Flowing or surface water
Water found in streams, rivers and lakes with underwater currents should be reasonably clean, although no doubt you'll have read about the increase in raw sewage discharge in the national news recently. The fact that the water in these sources is constantly flowing or moving should prevents pollutants from building up, but it's vital that our water companies are held to account to improve their performance and tackle the problem of sewage spills. Since surface water is more easily accessible than groundwater, it is relied on for many human uses. It is an important source of drinking water and is used for the irrigation of farmland.
The term ‘standing water’ refers to any body of water that isn’t flowing, in motion nor sinks into the ground. If standing water, is unable to flow or drain away properly it will become stagnant polluted and unhealthy over time, for instance in ponds, puddles or on flat roofs.
Rainwater is significantly cleaner than standing water but may be dirtier than flowing water or properly collected groundwater. Rainwater is classed as non-potable or non-drinking water by UK water regulations. This means it cannot be used for applications where there is human contact (such as drinking, bathing and cooking). Once filtered, however, it can be used for a number of different purposes. A water butt for your garden is a great way to collect rainwater to water your plants during warmer months instead of relying on water from your taps.
This blog covers four basic types of water that are critical to our survival. It is just the basics, but enough information to help us understand where we need to conserve and where we need to access more water in our battle for water conservation. We are not making any new water and won’t be for the foreseeable future. The key is to look after and get more out of the water we already have; the water we have had all of our lives.
At ShowerBoB, we care passionately about the environment. It’s why we designed our water and energy saving products to help people to take a step to reduce the water and energy that they use in the bathroom.
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