The Process of Decontaminating Drinking Water
Posted: November 1, 2017 to Drinking Water
If you live in the US, the supply of drinking water is among the world’s safest. But even here, there are ways that sources of water are able to be contaminated. This can cause disease and sickness from waterborne germs like E. Coli, Cryptosporidium, Giardia intestinalis, Hepatitis A, and other types of pathogens.
Sources of drinking water can be contaminated and there has to be the appropriate treatment done to them to remove the agents that cause disease. There are different methods for treating water used by the public systems of drinking water so that their communities have drinking water. These days, the steps that are most commonly taken for the water systems include:
Coagulation & Flocculation
These two are often the initial steps when it comes to treating water. Chemicals having positive charges will be added to water. These chemicals and their positive charges will neutralize that negative charge that dirt along with other types of dissolved particles the water contains. When this happens, those particles and the chemicals bind to form bigger particles, known as floc.
When sedimentation is used, the floc will settle into the water supply’s bottom because of its weight. It’s called sedimentation.
After sedimentation, that clear water that is on top is going to go through different filters made of different things (sand, then gravel, then charcoal) and different sizes of pores. This removes the dissolved particles like parasites, viruses, chemicals, bacteria, and dust.
Once filtration is done, a disinfectant like chloramine or chlorine might be added so any types of remaining bacteria, viruses, or parasites are removed and to help with protecting that water from any germs when it’s piped to businesses and homes.
Water might be treated in different ways in various communities based on the water’s quality that is entering their treatment plant. Usually, the surface water will require more filtration and treatment when compared with groundwater since rivers, streams, and lakes will contain a lot more pollutants and sediment, therefore they’re a lot more likely to have problems with contamination when compared with groundwater.
Some of the supplies of water also may have inorganic chemicals, radionuclides, and disinfection by-products. There are special methods for removing them or controlling their formation also can be a step in water treatments.
Water fluoridation in communities helps with preventing tooth decay effectively and safely. It’s been named one of the 20th century’s 10 best achievements when it comes to public health.
Water Treatment in Households
Although there are regulations and standards set by the EPA for the drinking water that is available to the public, a lot of Americans also use water treatment units in their home to:
- Remove certain contaminants
- Take some extra precautions due to a member of the household having a weakened immune system
- Make their drinking water taste better
There are two categories and when it comes to treatment systems for household water, point of entry and point of use. The systems that are a point of entry are usually installed once the water meter is installed and will treat the majority of the water that enters a home. A point of use system will treat the water in different batches and then deliver that water to a faucet, like a bathroom, kitchen sink, or one of the auxiliary faucets that are mounted next to the tape. Below are some of the most common types of systems for the home.
· Filtration Systems – Water filters are devices that remove the impurities from your water using a chemical or biological process or physical barrier.
· Water Softeners – Water softeners are devices that make water less hard. They usually will use potassium or sodium ions for replacing magnesium or calcium ions, since these are the ions that make your water hard.
· Distillation Systems – The process of distillation boils impure water, and then the steam is collected, then condensed in another container. This will leave a lot of the contaminants that are solid behind.
· Disinfection – This chemical or physical process kills or deactivates pathogenic microorganisms. Some chemical disinfectant examples are ozone, chlorine dioxide, and chlorine. Some physical disinfectant examples are heat, electronic radiation, and ultraviolet light.
There are many processes in the US that water goes through to help make sure it’s safe for you and your family to drink. The next time you pour a glass of water, think about what that water has gone through so that you and your family can enjoy it.
About Aqua Care
We service more than 800 water systems throughout Lee and Collier County on a regular basis.
The various types of systems we install and service range from the standard aerator water system to the more modern twin tank water systems designed to remove offensive odors and soften the water.
We also maintain point of entry, or the whole house, reverse osmosis systems. Contact us today: (239) 939-3656