USGS - science for a changing world

The USGS Water Science School

Water Quality

What is in that water that you just drank? Is it just hydrogen and oxygen atoms? Is it safe for drinking? All water is of a certain "quality" (and you can't tell by just looking), but what does "water quality" really mean? Water full of dirt and grime might work fine for a tomato plant but would you want to drink it? Water quality can be thought of as a measure of the suitability of water for a particular use based on selected physical, chemical, and biological characteristics. Browse our links below to gain insight on water quality.

Water-Quality Properties

Surface Water Quality

Groundwater Quality

Activity Center

Contaminants and Pollution

USGS Water Quality Data

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Page Last Modified: Monday, 16-Apr-2018 08:26:06 EDT