Wells supply water of more reliable quantity and quality than a rainwater system. Water near the surface may have seeped into the ground from the immediate area, and may be contaminated by sewage, barnyards, outhouses, or garbage dumps nearby. Deep wells are expensive to drill, but the water deep underground comes from hundreds of miles away, and the long trip filters out most bacteria. Well water sometimes contains dissolved minerals, most of which are harmless. Hard water results from calcium salts in the water, which can build up inside hot water pipes and cause scaling. Hard water can also turn soap into scum. A water softener installed on the pipe leading to the hot water heater will help control it.
Well water is usually potable, if the source is deep enough. It should be pure, cool, and free of discoloration and odor problems. The local health department will check samples for bacterial and chemical content before use. Wells are sunk below the water table so that they are not affected by seasonal fluctuations in the water level. Pumps bring the water from the well to the surface, where it is stored in tanks under constant pres sure to compensate for variations in the flow from the well. The water can be filtered and chlorinated at this point. Pumps and pressure tanks are usually housed in outbuildings kept above freezing temperatures.
The use of water should be related to its quality. Almost every North American building has potable water. In most buildings, the majority of this clean water is used to carry away organic wastes.
When water is used efficiently and supplied locally, less water is removed from rivers, lakes, and underground aquifers. Less energy and chemicals are required for treatment and delivery, and less storm water is wasted and discharged to pollute rivers, eliminating the need for additional expensive water treatment plants. Interior designers can help to conserve clean water by specifying efficient fixtures and considering the use of recycled water where appropriate.
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Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.