Every day, we go to the kitchen sink with an empty glass to fill it with water and drink it. Easily one of the important resources in the world, we need and use water for so many things. But it’s possible we take for granted all the work that goes into the water treatment process.
You can’t just go to the nearby lake and drink out of it. So, how does the water go from not-potable to potable? Read on to find out.
The Water Treatment Process
Public water sources are at risk of contamination so there needs to be a process that is thorough and proven to make sure that the water we drink is safe. Because we have such a good process, the United States has some of the safest drinking water in the world.
The water treatment process is the process by which water becomes clean enough for people to drink. While there are variations here and there, for the most part, the process is the same. Here are some of the key drinking water treatment process steps.
1. Coagulation Flocculation
This first part of the process is the step during which chemicals are added to the water to offset the dirt in the water. Specifically, chemicals with a positive charge are added to the water to neutralize the dirt in the water, which has a negative charge. It is called coagulation and flocculation because during this process, the positive and negative coagulate and form a larger particle called Floc.
The next part of the water treatment process is the sedimentation process. Here, all the Floc particles will settle to the ground because they are heavier than anything else in the water, effectively removing themselves from it.
Once all the Floc has settled on the bottom of the water supply, the clear water will then be filtered through various filters of various pore sizes made up of sand, charcoal, and gravel. This piece of the process removes some of the harmful agents such as dust, parasites, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals.
Finally, disinfection occurs when chlorine or chloramine is added to purify the water. Once all four of these steps are completed, the water is deemed safe for drinking!
While this is the typical treatment process, sometimes the process can vary depending on how dirty the water is or where the water is sourced. For instance, surface water generally requires more filtration than groundwater because it is inherently dirtier.
How to Know Water is Safe
The water treatment process is now a science. It’s also regulated. Every community water supplier is required by law to release an annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). This report covers the quality of the local drinking water, where the water is sourced, any contaminants found in the drinking water, and even ways for community members to help protect their drinking water.
Home Water Treatment Systems
Even though the U.S. has some of the safest drinking water in the world, many people still opt to have a home water treatment system. This could be for a variety of reasons, whether it be improving the taste of the water or further protecting an immunocompromised family member. What is the most common home water treatment system? A pitcher with a filter. Unfortunately, most of these pitcher filters only remove the chlorine in the water. These are inexpensive and can be found in most general stores. Others might opt for water softeners, water conditioners, distillation systems, filtration systems, or disinfectants.
There are two categories of home water treatment systems: point-of-entry systems and point-of-use systems. Point-of-entry systems treat water as it enters the residence. Point-of-use systems, filter and treat the water as you use it at your kitchen sink.
If you think a water treatment system might be right for you and your family, please contact us today!