Analysis of a spring water

Water is omnipresent on Earth as it covers 72% of its surface (97% salted water and 3% fresh water). Water is the living space of many species and is necessary for all life to thrive and survive. It is also a major part of human economy, for it can be used as solvent, washing agent, cooling agent, or raw material for industrial purpose.

Water is liquid at ambient temperature and pressure conditions, colourless, odourless , tasteless, and neither volatile nor toxic. Water molecules are made of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms (H2O). Despite its apparent simplicity, water possesses exceptional physical and chemical properties that explain its implication in many industrial processes.

In fact, pure water does not exist. Different types of waters are catalogued on Earth: bottled water, spring water, mineral water, natural mineral water, residual urban waters (RUWs) or residual industrial waters (RIWs), distilled water, demineralised water, permuted water, milli-Q® water.

Each type of water is a complex solution containing, in addition to water molecules:

  • Ionic mineral species inferior to 1 nm in size. We generally distinguish metal ions (Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, Fe2+), from halide ions (F-, Cl-), sulfate ions (SO42-), nitrogen ions (NO3-, NO2-, NH4+), phosphorus ions (orthophosphates like H2PO4-, HPO42- and PO43- ) and carbonated ions (HCO3-) ;
  • Oxidizable organic matter MOOX (O2, CO2, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, carbonated or nitrogenous organic matter) and inorganic oxidizable matter MIOX;
  • Settleable suspended matter (sand particles, organic debris) or non-settleable (colloidal particles, limes, microscopic organisms). We talk about « total suspended matter » (TSM).

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