Pure water does not exist in nature. Because water is a powerful solvent, every drop of rain water carries dissolved or suspended material - dust, pollen, and smoke, as well as the atmospheric gases, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. When rain falls, the water running over the rocks and percolating through the soil gathers more and more mineral matter in solution. As the uses to which a water supply may be put depend primarily on its mineral content, information concerning the chemical characteristics of water is of importance to each of us.
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USGS Numbered Series
Mineral constituents in water and their significance