Water is Awesome! A Guide to Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and ‘High-Quality H2O’
Raise your hand if you love water 👋 We do too! What exactly is this life-giving molecule that makes up over 70% of our planet’s surface? Water has also been found on other heavenly bodies within and beyond our solar system. In 2002, a NASA orbiter found evidence of ice buried at both the north and south poles of the moon. Could these ancient heavenly “ice pockets” hold clues to the early history of the moon and Mars?
For this article, we focus specifically on water used in recreational facilities like swimming pools, splash pads, spas, and hot tubs. Water has many unique properties. A particularly amazing one is regardless of how contaminated it is, water can be recovered, treated and reused over and over again. This is important for man-made bodies of water like the ones mentioned above. Keep reading to find out more.
WATER’S IMPACT IN 2020
As of 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported Americans use about 322 billion gallons of water per day. According to the EPA, 50 gallons a day per person goes down our household drains. The average cost to supply said household with water is about $2 for a thousand gallons of water – roughly 5 gallons per penny.
Last year was a banner year for pool businesses and the home improvement industry in general. Before the pandemic there were nearly 11 million swimming pools in the US alone – with over 10 million tagged as “residential.” Pool builders are currently booked far out in advance. Homeowners that dilly-dallied can expect to wait as long as next summer to enjoy their new pool.
Even with COVID-19 vaccines beginning to roll out, those that have a choice are continuing to stay home. Most outdoor living businesses are still feeling the buying frenzy of 2020 as it spills over into the new year. This is expected to keep up as everyone slowly becomes more comfortable leaving home.
Homeowners are spending anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000 on backyard transformations. From landscaping and lighting, to fire pits and fully-equipped kitchen galleys; people are glamming up their outdoor living spaces like gangbusters! Water is a key element in many of these transformations.
This surge in demand for outdoor living products brought on by the pandemic has made homeowners keenly aware of living spaces. Once they realized they weren’t going anywhere anytime soon due to travel bans and virus-spreading concerns, they began calling local contractors and pool companies. We can safely assume those 2015 water use numbers have increased over the past 5 years.
Due to some awesome properties, water does some amazing things.
It makes up nearly everything on Earth but isn’t always available to us in a usable form.
We can’t survive without water, and without it our world would crumble apart.
THE INTRINSIC BEAUTY OF WATER
In small amounts water appears colorless. However in daylight, larger bodies of water can take on a gorgeous blue color because of the way water absorbs light. Weird, right?
This is partly due to the slight absorption of light at red wavelengths, the way particles in the water scatter light, and some is simply the reflection of a blue sky.
About 97% of the water on Earth is salty and undrinkable. Antarctica holds more than 70% of all that water. Approximately 1% of our planet’s water is used by us to meet agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community, and personal needs.
Water not only keeps the temperature of the Earth regulated – a process monitored from space “by remote sensing Earth observation satellites” – it regulates the temperature in our bodies through cohesive properties (explained below).
Water also carries nutrients and oxygen to the areas of our body that need it most and removes wastes. That’s what we call efficient!
THE SCIENCE OF WATER
Let’s go way back to grammar school science for a minute. What is water? Water is an essential compound made up of hydrogen and oxygen. It can exist in the form of a gas, a liquid and a solid.
Clearly, water is necessary to facilitate life. What makes it so vital to our survival? Let’s discuss water’s essential properties and how they keep everything going for all of us.
Water is “Sticky:” Polarity – which dictates how water interacts with other molecules – leads to strong bonds between water and other polar molecules, including water itself.
This unifying ability makes water molecules “stick together” in a property called cohesion. Those cohesive forces along with the adhesive properties of water are what help plants soak up water at the root.
Water Dissolves: Water dissolves more substances than any other liquid – hence the nickname “universal solvent.” Because water is an ideal solvent, the majority of chemical reactions important to life take place in solutions made of water, i.e. aqueous solutions.
Water’s versatility as a solvent – its ability to dissolve other substances – is essential to living organisms. All living organisms depend on aqueous solutions (blood, digestive liquids) for biological processes.
Water Conducts: Water basically acts as a “heatsink.” Due to conductive properties and a relatively high heat capacity, cohesion contributes to water’s high boiling point and subsequent temperature-regulating capabilities.
NOT JUST BENEFICIAL: WATER IS ESSENTIAL
Humans can survive a month without food, but won’t survive more than a week without water. It plays such a huge role in our lives.
We are in water from birth. Most of us feel an incomparable sense of calm and serenity when submerged in water. Some even feel a spiritual connection with water and use it in religious ceremonies.
The data varies, but we’re told our bodies are made up of around 55-75% water depending on our life stage (babies have the most). We mentioned earlier how all living things depend on water in some form or another.
Since ancient times, explorers would say, “Follow the water.” Before highways, water was the route to a better way of life.
WHY IS CLEAN WATER CRUCIAL?
Living organisms need water to survive and it is only natural for them to be drawn to water. That includes harmful bacteria, plants and other contaminants. Our bodies develop some immunity to these organisms but ignoring the situation could be problematic.
In the business of swimming pools and spas, clean water is of great importance. No one wants to swim in dirty pool or spa water!
Mismanaged chlorine or bromine levels leads to harmful germs in pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds that can multiply and make swimmers sick.
Swimming in contaminated water causes bodily discomforts ranging from itchy skin to respiratory distress, intestinal discomfort or worse. Ever heard of Legionella or Cryptosporidium? Just google “dirty swimming pools” We double-dog dare you.
When it comes to pools and spas, water quality is something you have to take seriously. And to be completely honest, we’ve lost the “shower before swimming” battle in America.
Thank the stars for cutting edge, next generation technology like Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP). AOP combines ozone and UV – two well-known supplemental sanitizing technologies – to create the cleanest pool and spa water possible!
Next Gen AOP™ from CMP addresses many concerns from homeowners and pool professionals. DEL Advanced Sanitizers stand out in the battle for safe, clean pool and spa water.
Don’t take our word for it! NSF provides comprehensive inspection, testing – including microbial disinfection efficacy testing – that helps ensure DEL AOP products are in compliance.
WHAT DOES CLEAN WATER MEAN TO YOU?
Waterborne illness was considered our worst enemy only a century ago. Cholera and typhoid took many lives in the mid-1800s. You would think, with water being so vital to our survival, clean water would be the one thing we could all get behind and support right?
We are still not in the clear. A CDC report published December 16, 2020, shows that every year in the US, waterborne diseases “cause 7.15 million illnesses and 6,630 deaths, and cost our healthcare system more than $3.3 billion.”
Find all available residential pool sanitizers at c-m-p.com/pool-sanitizers.
For high-end or commercial water, CMP Commercial offers a complete line of DEL Pro sanitizers, including the only Secondary Sanitizer certified Ozone systems. Visit cmpcommercial.com to learn more.
Check out our solutions to clean, clear, safe pool water: