You’re probably aware that the water which comes out of your tap is filtered and treated by the water treatment plant. This is essential to ensure that harmful bacteria and minerals are removed from the water; making it safe for you to drink. You probably don’t even think about the quality of the water when using public fountains or a water bubbler; but the water board has to think about it all the time!
But what about before the water treatment plants were invented? Humans have always needed water and the Earth does provide it in its pure form. In fact it is possible for water to be filtered naturally:
The Water Cycle
Water exists in streams, rivers, lakes and the ocean. When the sun heats it up it evaporates, moving up through the sky until it reaches the cooler air. At this point it half condenses; sitting in a form between water and steam.
You’ll recognize this as clouds. The clouds move round, slowly getting bigger until the weight of the cloud is too heavy for the thin air which has cooled sufficiently for the steam to revert to water. At this point it falls back to the ground and is pure.
Rainwater is pure because the minerals were removed when the sun caused it to evaporate.
However, as it falls it can pick up toxins from the atmosphere. It then rolls across rocks and through the soil to get back to the reservoirs and rivers. In the process the water picks up minerals, bacteria and other debris from the soil.
This is why it then needs to go into a treatment works!
Filtering Water Naturally
But, it is possible to filter this water naturally without using the treatment plants.
One of the best natural solutions is the wetlands. Water passing through this will have up to 60% of the metals removed and 90% of the nitrogen as well as 90% of the sediment it has picked up on its journey!
Trees and other plants also remove phosphorous from the water for their own purposes.
In addition the water passes through natural filtration elements such as carbon or charcoal. This is exceptionally effective at removing bacteria and other debris from the water.
The result is clean water for animals and even humans in some parts of the world.
Unfortunately the destruction of the wetlands and the release of pollutants into the ground and air affect the ability of nature to purify the water properly.
This directly affects the health of many plants and animals and contributes to the breakdown of environmental ecosystems. The lack of natural water filtration is actually destroying the environment that it tries to help.
This is why it is so essential to have wetland areas. You can create one at home to help improve the environment or simply campaign to make sure that no more are destroyed.
Humans may get all the clean water we need from our treatment sites but we also need to look after the natural resources of the planet.