PART C-WATER QUALITY ANALYSIS
1. Water Quality.
a. Safe water, in sufficient quantities, is essential to every human being. Insufficient quality of
water is not only debilitating to the individual, but can have a major impact on unit operational
readiness. An adequate safe water supply is a matter of life or death for troops in the field. Man might
survive for months without food but would die in about a week without drinkable water. Water makes
up about 60 percent of a man's weight, or on the average about 50 quarts. Every day man must replenish
about 2.5 quarts of it. Water is essential for blood circulation, waste removal, and muscle movements.
As a substance, water is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. As a chemical, it is a weak acid and a
remarkable solvent. It draws away from most organic substances but is strongly attracted toward the
absorption of inorganic substances. Water is so benign that many forms of life can thrive within it, yet
so corrosive that given time, it will disintegrate the toughest metal.
b. Water that is not properly treated and disinfected can spread diseases such as cholera,
shigellosis, typhoid, and paratyphoid fever. Untreated water can also transmit viral hepatitis,
gastroenteritis, and parasitec diseases such as amoebic dysentery, giardiasis, cryptosporidosis, and
schistosomiasis. Water treatment operators and preventive medicine personnel must actively monitor
water quality to ensure water quality criteria are met. All soldiers throughout the command have a
responsibility to prevent contamination of water supplies. Officers in charge of water units must ensure
that an effective water quality analysis program is set up.
2. Water Terms.
a. The Hydrologic Cycle. This is the term used to describe the natural circulation of raw water
in, on, and above the earth. Water occurs in many forms as it moves through this cycle. The steps in the
placed in the air by evaporation from water and land surfaces and by transpiration from plants. It then
condenses to produce cloud formations and return to earth as rain, snow, sleet, or hail. Some of this
evaporates, while some flows as runoff into lakes and streams. The remainder goes into the soil and
then into underlying rock formations by seepage or infiltration. The water that has seeped through the
earth will finally find its way to the surface through springs. It can also flow through porous media until
intercepted by streams, lakes, or oceans. The cycle does not always progress through a regular
sequence; steps may be omitted or repeated at any point. For example, precipitation in hot climates may
be almost wholly evaporated and returned to the atmosphere. In such an instance the steps of
infiltration, transpiration, and runoff are omitted.
b. Natural Water. Absolutely pure water is never found in nature. The impurities in water vary
from dissolved gases and chemical compounds to suspended mater such as disease organisms and dirt.
While some of these impurities can be seen by the naked eye and others can be detected by taste and
odor, most can only be detected by laboratory testing.