Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day - Water

The past two years I've participated in Blog Action Day (2008 - Poverty, 2009 - Climate Change).  On both times I've tried to relate it somehow to testing or technology.  This year's topic is water.

When I considered water in terms of testing, I first thought about all the DI water that's used to clean DUTs.  Then there's the various water-cooled systems I've used over the years.  I've also met people in the New England area who test fuel cells - they are often concerned with how well the water the cell produces is evaporated.  So water is a regular part of my field, one way or another.

But then I ranged farther afield.  When I first moved to this part of the country, I had to test the water in the new house since it was well-based.  Biologically, it was okay.  There was a fair amount of sediment the pump sucked up, so I had a filter installed.  But the worst part was the radon.  There's a LOT of granite rock where I live, and granite rock can have trace amounts of uranium.  Radon is a decay product of uranium, and there was some of it in the basement as well as the water.  I installed a system to keep the radon out of the air, but filtering options for the water were too expensive.  I settled for "use it, but don't drink it."

What I'm trying to say is that we use a lot of water at work, and even the water we drink has to be filtered somehow.  The United States is about the top of the food chain economically.  Imagine what problems people may have with water if they don't have our resources.  Very sobering.