Eng’g 500: Introduction to Environmental Engineering WATER CYCLE AND WATER QUALITY  Hydrology - Hydrology is the study of water

and its movement along its various pathways within the hydrological cycle. This is applied by engineers who use hydrological principles to compute river flows from rainfall, water movement in soils form knowledge of soil characteristics, evaporation rates from water balance or energy balance techniques.  The Water Cycle - The hydrological cycle is central to Hydrology. It is a continuous process showing constant state of motion of water. Water evaporates from the earth’s oceans and water bodies and from land surfaces. About seven times more evaporation occurs from oceans than from the earth’s land surfaces. The evaporated water rises into the atmosphere until the lower temperatures aloft cause it to condense and then precipitate in the form most globally as rain but sometimes as snow. Once on the earth’s surface waters flow into streams, lakes, and eventually discharges into surface waters. Through evaporation from surface water or transpiration plants, water molecules return to the atmosphere to repeat the cycle. The term evapotranspiration is used referring to combined evaporation and transpiration usually exhibited by living plants. In general of 100 units of rain that falls on grassland in temperature zones, 10 to 20 units will go to groundwater, 20-40 units will transpire and 40 to 70 units will become stream runoff.

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Water never leaves the Earth. It is constantly being cycled through the atmosphere, ocean, and land. This process, known as the water cycle, is driven by energy from the sun. The water cycle is crucial to the existence of life on our planet. Evaporation-The sun heats up liquid water and changes it to a gas. Water that evaporates from Earth’s oceans, lakes, rivers, and moist soil rises up into the atmosphere. Condensation -As water (in the form of gas) rises higher in the atmosphere, it starts to cool and become a liquid again. Groundwater -water absorbed into the ground forming pockets of water. Most groundwater eventually returns to the ocean. Water runoff -Other precipitation runs directly into streams or rivers The earth has approximately 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of water either trapped underground on the surface or in the atmosphere. More than 97% of this is salt water found in the oceans and seas and more than 2% is fresh water frozen in the polar ice caps.


ions). If the aquifer is underlain by the impervious layers. Below the zone of aeration is the zone of saturation. agricultural chemicals. It is the water quality in the intermediate states that is of great concern because it is the quality at this stages that will affect human use of water. This zone may have zero thickness in the swamplands and can be several hundred feet thick in arid regions. 2. A stratum containing a substantial amount of groundwater is called Aquifer and the surface of this saturated layer is known as the Water Table. it is known as confined aquifer.Ground water is an important direct source of water supply and a significant indirect source since a large portion of the flow to stream is derived from subsurface water.Surface water supplies are not as reliable as groundwater sources because quantities often fluctuate widely during the course of a year or even a week. and the quality of surface water is easily degraded by various sources of pollution. soil pore the spaces contain both air and water.Eng’g 500: Introduction to Environmental Engineering WATER QUALITY Water in nature is most nearly pure in its evaporation state. The impurities are accumulated in water throughout the hydrologic cycle and as a result of human activities may be both suspended (larger particles) and dissolved from (molecules. Water supplies: 1. Near the surface of the earth in the zone of aeration. Surface water Supplies . Ground water Supplies . in which the pores are filled with water. However it acquires impurities once condensed and additional impurities are added as the liquid water travels through the remainder of the hydrologic cycle and comes in contact with materials in the air and on or beneath the earth’s surface. If the stratum containing water is trapped between two impervious layers. Moisture from this zone cannot be tapped as water supply since this water is held on soil particles by capillary forces and is not readily released. and other less obvious contaminants. Colloids are also very small particles that are suspended but often exhibit many characteristics of dissolved substances. Water within this zone is referred to as Groundwater. 2 . These impure water returns to the atmosphere as relatively pure molecules through evaporation. human activities contribute further impurities in the form of industrial and domestic wastes. it is called an unconfined aquifer. In addition.

However. vegetable fibers and microorganisms. chemical production. water pick up tannins. humic acid. Impacts: aesthetically displeasing. end products of biological reactions. Manganese oxides cause brown or blackish water. aesthetically displeasing and provides adsorption sites for chemical land biological agents 2. silt. Impacts: Not aesthetically acceptable to general public. sediments and solid deposits also adversely affect the flora and fauna of the streams 3. rock fragments and metal oxides from soil. refining. Biological decomposition of organic matter may result to taste and odor producing liquids and gases. industries discharges waste heat Impacts: 3 . Inorganic substances are more likely to produce taste unaccompanied by odor. Highly colored water is not suitable for laundry. impart color to natural water bodies. and constituents of wastewater. Physical Water-Quality Parameters 1. Taste and Odor – Substances that produce an odor in water will almost invariably impart a taste as well Sources: minerals. papermaking. silt. etc) Impacts: Objectionable in water. diary production. and humates and takes on yellowish-brown hues. or wood. mining. may interfere with light penetration during photosynthesis. cause undesirable tastes and odor. other soil constituents b) Organic Solids – plant fiber and biological solids (algal cells. Temperature – It is not used to evaluate directly either potable water or wastewater. weeds. Impacts: aesthetically displeasing. emulsifying agents. metallic salts impart salty or bitter taste. bacteria. This is not a direct quantitative measure of suspended solids Sources: erosion of colloidal matters such as clay.Eng’g 500: Introduction to Environmental Engineering WATER QUALITY PARAMETERS I. provides adsorption sites for biological and chemical agents. metals and salts from soil. health threat (since carcinogens may be produced when some organics react with chlorine during disinfection) 5. conifer needles. Industrial wastes: textile and dyeing operations. soaps and detergents. Iron oxides cause reddish water. beverage manufacturing. and slaughterhouse operations add substantial color to water in receiving streams. and other food processing. textile and plastic production 4. Alkaline materials imparts bitter taste to water. pulp and paper production. It is one of the most important parameters in natural surface water systems Sources: ambient temperature (temperature of the surrounding atmosphere). Turbidity – a measure of the extent to which light is either absorbed or scattered by suspended material in water. Certain species of algae also secrete oily substances which may result to taste and odor. food processing. Organic susbstances most likely produce both taste and odor. dyeing. Suspended Solids – consists of inorganic and organic particles Sources: a) Inorganic Solids – clay. Color – Pure water is colorless but water in nature is often colored by foreign substances a) Apparent Color – color that is partly due to suspended matter b) True Color – color that which is contributed by dissolved solids that remain after removal of the suspended matter Sources: contact with organic debris such as leaves.

Copper. Sodium Toxic metals: Arsenic. The dead algae will also require oxygen in its decomposition which may result to a DO level insufficient to support higher-order species such as fishes Oxygen is more soluble in cold water than in warm water. from fertilizers and insecticides from agricultural lands. II. Calcium. some maybe toxic and carcinogen 2. phosphates originating from detergents in wastewater. It constitutes a part of total solids. Accelerated growth of algae often occurs in warm water and can become a problem when cells cluster into algae mats. Total Dissolved Solids – the material remaining in the water after filtration and is left as residue upon evaporation.100 ppm as CaCO3 – moderately hard 150 -300 ppm as CaCO3 – hard 300 ppm as CaCO3 – very hard Sources: Calcium and Magnesium. Hardness – concentration of multivalent cations in solution. Lead. Iron and Manganese. The viscosity increases with decreasing temperature. faucets. This in turn affects the amount of DO in water. Fluoride Sources: household products Impacts: Fluoride is toxic to humans and other animals in large quantities Excessive dosage of fluoride can cause bone fluorosis and other skeletal abnormalities 4 . and boilers 4. reaction between alkalinity and other ions will produce precipitates that can foul pipes and other water systems. Silver Sources: domestic and industrial use of water. Chemical Water Quality Parameters 1. Dissolved solids may be organic or inorganic Sources: solvent action of water on solids. tastes and odors. decay products of vegetation or from organic chemicals and gases Impacts: produces aesthetically displeasing color. Impacts: alkalinity imparts bitter taste to water.Eng’g 500: Introduction to Environmental Engineering Biological activities increase when temperature increases. Aluminun. Metals Non-toxic metals: A Manganese. Alkalinity – it is a measure of the ability of water to neutralize acids Sources: Dissolution of mineral substances in soil and atmosphere. Zinc.soft 50 . dissolution form natural deposits Impacts: health hazards (toxic and carcinogens) 5. Temperature also affects other physical properties of water. Chromium. scaling in pipes. 3. Magnesium. A 10OC increase in temperature is sufficient to double the biological activity of organisms if the essential nutrients are available. Cadmium. It is classified as carbonate and noncarbonate hardness Concentration based on Calcium Carbonate concentration: <50 ppm as CaCO3 . Natural secretion of oils by the algae in the mats and decay products of dead algae cells can result in taste and odor problems. the maximum density of water occurs at 4OC. gases and liquids. Mercury. Strontium and Aluminun Impacts: soap lathering problems.

Nutrients in excessive amounts can cause Eutrophication of rivers. animal wastes. Waterborne diseases are those acquired by ingestion of pathogens not only in drinking water but also from water that makes into a person’s mouth from washing food.Example: Giardia lamblia( a protozoa). detergent compounds ABS. bacilli.5 500 ppm 250 ppm 0.3 ppm 1 ppb III.5 -8. Biological Water Quality Parameters 1. and hands .5 ppm Can cause bone fluosis if the concentration is 5 ppm Recommended limit in drinking water = 1. aldehydes. wastewater discharges) Phosphates in Municipal Waste water may come from detergents Impacts: . acids. some cause frothing and foaming. Nutrients: (Nitrogen and Phosphorus) Sources: Nitrogen containing compounds (proteins.Eng’g 500: Introduction to Environmental Engineering Prevents dental cavities in children if the concentration is 1.  Standards for Drinking Water Quality Parameter Color Ph TDS Chlorides Foaming agents Sulfates Zinc Manganese Iron Copper Concentration 15 color unit 6. herbicides Impacts: Health hazards (toxic and carcinogen).5 ppm 6.5 ppm 250 ppm 5 ppm 0. cellulose and phenols degrade very slowly Ring structured materials: benzene.0 ppm ( in drinking water) Cause discoloration of teeth (mottling) if the concentration is > 2 ppm Mottling is rare if the concentration is < 1.05 ppm 0. utensils. fertilizers.NO3 form of nitrogen may cause nitrate poisoning in babies (blue baby syndrome or methemoglobinemia) .Phosphates interfere with wastewater treatment . proteins.Classification of Pathogens (causing water-borne diseases) a) Bacteria: classified as cocci. Vibro Comma (bacteria) . pesticides. spirilla b) Protozoa: an order of magnitude larger than bacteria c) Viruses d) Helminths – parasitic worms and other parasites 5 . and esters) Non-Biodegradable Organics/ Refractory organics: organics that are resistant to biological degradation Examples: Tannic and lignic acids. increase turbidity 7. Organics Biodegradable Organics: dissolved from domestic or industrial wastewater discharges (starches. fats. alcohols.

Endoteroviruses (67 types.g. or bite near water are responsible for the spread of malaria. nausea. Balantidium coli Viruses 1. Hepatitis A 4. indigestion Prolonged diarrhea with bleeding Diarrhea Diarrhea. affecting some 160 million people and killing 1 million each year.Schistosomiasis (bilharzias) – It is a common water-contact disease in the world. Coxsackie viruses) 3. Inadequate supplies of water for personal hygiene results in skin 6 . Trichuris trichiura Disease Gastroenteritis Leptospirosis Typhoid fever Salmonellosis Cholera Shigellosis Legionellosis Giardiasis Amebiasis Cryptosporidiosis Balantidiasis Respiratory disease Gastroenteritis. Cryptosporidium parvum 4. Salmonella 5. Legionella pneumophila Protozoa 1. Insects that breed in water. Ascaris lumbricoides 2. Shigella 7. fever(Weil’s disease) High fever. ulceration of the intestine Food poisoning Extremely heavy diarrhea. Reovirus 6.Eng’g 500: Introduction to Environmental Engineering Pathogens Bacteria 1. 7. Yellow fever. Vibrio Cholerae or Vibrio Comma 6. heart anomalies. Adenovirus (31 types) 2. meningitis Infectious hepatitis Gastroenteritis Gastroenteritis Gastroenteritis Ascariasis Enterobiasis Taeniasis Taeniasis Trichuriasis Roundworm infestation Pinworm Beef tapeworm Pork tapeworm Whipworm Remarks Diarrhea Jaundice. Norwalk agent 5. Water-contact diseases do not require that individuals ingest the water . It is spread by free-swimming larva in the water called Cercaria which are transported by snails. e. Giardia lamblia 2. Escherichia coli (enteropathogenic) 2. affecting approximately 200 million people. Leptospira 3. dysentery 6. Salmonella typhi or Salmonella Typhosa 4. Rotavirus Helminths 1. Enterobius vericularis 3. diarrhea. Taenia saginata 4. sleeping sickness and river blindness spread in the same way. Taenia solium 5. polio. dehydration Bacillary dysentery Acute respiratory illness Mild to severe diarrhea. Water Hygiene . Entamoeba histolytica 3.Water also plays an indirect role in other diseases common in developing countries.

 Additional Terms: 1. MPN – The sample is placed in a lactose broth and allowed to ferment. Microbial contaminants 7 . leprosy.Excessive exposure to radioactive materials is harmful and unnecessary exposure should be avoided (including drinking water). This disease was dominant in Uganda Africa  Bacterial measures: 1. Endemic – refers to a disease prevalent in and confined to a particular population 2. MPN stands for Most Probable Number. -  Categories of Drinking Water Standards 1.Eng’g 500: Introduction to Environmental Engineering diseases such as scabies. Counting Colonies/ ml – sample is placed in an agar sterile and incubated for 24-48 hours. Naturally occurring Radioactive compounds include radon and radium 226 found in ground water. The coliform produces gas and make the broth cloudy. Epidemic – is an outbreak of an infectious disease spreading widely in a particular area 3. The Bingham tube with was space is counted as positive. Radioactivity in public drinking water supplies is the 3rd category of contaminants regulated by the Safe Drinking water Act. Microbiology – is the study of microorganisms and their activities IV. Radiological Water Quality Parameters . These tiny intestinal worms are transported by flies. Radon gas is colorless. Radioactivity 4. . Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for radium 226 + radium 228 = 5pci/L MCL (for alpha particle activity) including radium 226 but excluding radon and uranium = 15 pci/L MCL (for beta particles and photon activity) 4 mrem/yr (annual dose to the whole body or any particular organ) The most significant radionuclides associated with drinking water is dissolved radon gas. and yaws as well as eye diseases such as trachoma and conjunctivitis. Epidemiology – is the study of the causes of a disease spreading in a community 4. Secondary standards 3. after which darkspots are counted (indicating pathogen that have lysed) 2. odorless and tasteless gas occurring naturally in ground water. Primary standards 2.River Blindness – tiny intestinal worms that appears in a person’s eye that in most cases would cause blindness. Strontium 90 and tritium are also found in surface water resulting from atmospheric nuclear weapon testing fallout.

. Indeed. . solids increase turbidity and reduce light penetration may restrict the photosynthetic activity of plants. releasing soluble compounds into the stream above.Eng’g 500: Introduction to Environmental Engineering WATER PURIFICATION PROCESSES IN NATURAL SYSTEMS Natural forms of pollutants have always been present in surface waters. I. Sedimentation and Resuspension Suspended solids is one of the most common water pollutants and in suspension. The self-purification mechanisms of natural water systems include physical. its success depends upon discharging relatively small quantities of waste into large bodies of water. Particles in the colloidal size range can stay in suspension for long periods of time though eventually most of these will also settle out. Increased turbulence ay resuspend solids formerly deposited along normally quiescent areas of stream and carry them for considerable distances downstream and eventually they will settle again. Resuspension of solids is common in times of flooding or heavy runoff. This natural sedimentation is not without drawbacks. Dilution was considered the most economical means of wastewater disposal and was considered good engineering practice. The speed and completeness with which these processes occur depend on hydraulic characteristics (volume. Dilution Wastewater disposal practices were based on the premise that “the solution to pollution is dilution”. Concentration after mixing is calculated from: 2. chemical and biological processes. Long before the dawn of civilization. Drawbacks of sedimentation: . inhibits vision of aquatic animals. the water-dependent life on earth could not have developed as it did. as well as the chemical nature of natural water. many impurities were washed from air.Sediments deposit can also alter streambed by filling up the pore space and creating unsuitable conditions for the reproduction of many aquatic organisms. variations in sunlight and temperature.It can also alter its course or hamper navigation activities and reduce reservoir storage capabilities and silt in harbors and increase flooding due to channel fill-in. The dilution capacity of a stream can be calculated using the principles of mass balance. turbulence of flow). physical characteristics of bottom and bank material. eroded from land surfaces. Physical Processes 1. interfere with feeding of aquatic animals that obtain food from filtration and be abrasive to respiratory structures such as gills of fish. without these self-cleaning processes. With few exceptions.Anaerobic conditions are likely to develop in sediments and any organics trapped in them will decompose. rate. or leached from the soil and ultimately found their way into the surface waters. Although dilution is powerful adjunct to self-cleaning mechanisms of surface waters. Sedimentation is nature’s method of removing suspended particles from a watercourse and most large solids will settle out readily in quiescent water. These are set by nature and can seldom be altered. 8 . natural purification processes were able to remove or otherwise render these materials harmless.

As water percolates from the surface downward into groundwater aquifers. filtration of a much more sophisticated type occurs. If the soil layers are deep and fine enough. Gas Transfer The transfer of gases into and out of water is an important part of the natural purification process.  Certain minerals pass into and out of solution and natural chemical conversions that may take place in water can change theses materials into a form that is soluble and useable by various aquatic organisms. removal of suspended material is essentially complete by the time water enters the aquifer. The hydrogen ions thus formed react with slightly soluble calcium carbonate to yield 9 . gases evolved in the water by chemical and biological processes may be transferred for the water to the atmosphere. Heat Transfer Bodies of water lose and gain heat much more slowly than do land or air masses and under most circumstances. Filtration Large bits of debris lodge on reeds or stones as they move along streambeds and they remain caught until high waters wash them into mainstream again. Meteorological variables and other factors such as channel characteristics (depth. width. Gas transfer is affected by solubility (extent to which gas is soluble in the water) and transfer rate ( rate at which dissolution or release occurs). etc. Oxidation-reduction conversions that play a part in self-purification of watercourses are biochemically mediated. Small bits of organic matters and inorganic clays and other sediments may be filtered out by pebbles or rocks along the streambed. Limestone and other forms of CaCO3 dissolve readily in water containing CO2. Strictly speaking. 4. Chemical Processes 6. The replenishment of oxygen lost to bacterial degradation of organic waste is accomplished by the transfer of oxygen from the air into the water. water temperature is fairly constant and changes gradually with the seasons. dissolution-precipitation and other chemical conversions may alternately aid or obstruct natural purification processes of natural water system. affect the rate of heat transfer in bodies of water. channel volume. Conversely. Chemical Conversions:  Oxidation-reduction. zinc. Manganese. Carbonic acid may for and dissociates thereby producing hydrogen ions.  Examples are Iron. surface area). copper. 5.  Nutrients (Nitrogen and Phosphorous) are present in watercourses and when ferric ion is also present the following reaction will occur:   The precipitate is insoluble ferric phosphate and settles to the bottom. For streams heated by solar radiation over several miles of heat-load area.Eng’g 500: Introduction to Environmental Engineering 3. Chemical conversions that take place in streams and lakes can help to stabilize the pH of those bodies of water. molybdenum and cobalt which are micronutrients needed by microorganisms for biochemical processes. cooling begins only in shaded areas or at night and may proceed much more slowly than cooling in streams which receive their heat load in one discharge II.

Other organisms – rotifers and Crustacea. In case of biodegradable organics and other nutrients.Protozoa are single-cell organisms that reproduce by binary fission. Algae . Protozoa re voracious consumers of organic material and are important members of the aquatic community 3.  The process by which living organisms assimilate and use food for subsistence. Bacteria . The bicarbonate ions act as buffer to protect a stream fro pH fluctuations that can be harmful to aquatic systems. 2.Eng’g 500: Introduction to Environmental Engineering highly soluble calcium and more bicarbonate ions. Biological Process 7.Primary decomposers of organic material.  Anabolism provides the material necessary for cell growth  Microorganisms that play an important role in natural water-system 1. Protozoa . III. Sludge worms 10 .These are autotrophic. The metabolic processes and the organisms involved are a vital part of the self-purification process of natural water systems. and reproduction is called metabolism. the activation energy can be supplied by microorganisms that utilize these materials for food and energy. Phototrophs are those bacteria which utilize sunlight for an energy source and inorganic substances for material source. growth. Autotrophs derive both energy and material from inorganic sources while heterotrophs obtain both energy and material from organic compounds.  Catabolism provides the energy for synthesis of new cells as well as for maintenance for other cell functions. photosynthetic organisms which metabolize the waste product of heterotrophic bacteria while obtaining energy for sunlight 4. Metabolic Processes (Biochemical processes)  Many chemical reactions involved in the self-purification process are biologically mediated.

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