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Quality of Water Supplies

Water Quality Control

  1. Xinhao Wang,
  2. Diana Mitsova-Boneva

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.wq606

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Wang, X. and Mitsova-Boneva, D. 2005. Quality of Water Supplies. Water Encyclopedia. 370–376.

Author Information

  1. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Water is an excellent solvent that can dissolve many elements. The amount of each element affects water quality, reflected in the chemical, physical, or biological condition of water. Therefore, water quality is often measured with what is contained in water, such as dissolved oxygen, suspended solids, pesticides, metals, oils, minerals, and nutrients. Pathogenic bacteria might affect human and animal health and so they are often measured. Physical conditions are another set of water quality measurement, such as water temperature, water color, and turbidity. Water quality also can be assessed with biological indicators, which measure the type and diversity of fish, macroinvertebrate species, and plants.

Some uses of water for industrial activities, such as mining, cooling water supply, washing, fire protection, or oil well repressurization, may not depend on water quality.


  • pathogenic bacteria;
  • biological indicators;
  • industrial activities;
  • domestic water supplies