Aquamat

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The Process of Water Purification

The Process of Water Purification

Many of us have a tendency to take clean, clear water for granted.

A twist of the tap and voila – clear water that looks good enough to drink, but that’s far from the full story when it comes to water purification.

 

The problem with water:

Water is sometimes called the universal solvent because it can dissolve more substances than any other known liquid. This ability is one of the things that makes it so essential to life as we know it, but it also presents several problems.

Since water so easily absorbs foreign substances and is so conducive to microscopic life, there is a very real danger of water contamination.

 

Water Purification:

In order to remove contamination, it is necessary to take various steps to remove inorganic materials suspended in the water and the biological contaminants that thrive in every drop of untreated water.

Before water reaches your tap it has undergone a treatment process just to be what most of us recognise as usable water. Of course even if tap water looks clear, municipal water may still contain substancesthat represent a health risk when ingested, so it is always advisable to further filter drinking water (this becomes doubly important if you are collecting water for yourself or if your water has been standing in a tank for any length of time).

 

The Treatment Process:

The first step in any water purification is to remove suspended particles. When water is first treated, this is achieved through the process of Coagulation and Flocculation. Essentially, coagulation destabilises the particles in suspension, and flocculation causes these particles to clump together.

The chemicals used during these processes will cause a high PH balance, which will aid in the removal of organic materials and inorganic contaminants like heavy metals.

Once particles have been removed from suspension, they are either allowed to settle out in a process of sedimentation.

When particles have settled out of the water, the PH changes caused by the chemicals required for coagulation and flocculation are reversed by carbonating the water.

Stabilised water can now be filtered and given treatment with chlorine to remove any final contamination.

 

Conclusion:

Purifying water is essential in the continued functioning of modern cities and individual households.

From the damage done by the lead in Roman pipes to London’s Cholera outbreaks in the 1850’s, the effects of improperly treated water have left a chilling mark on people throughout history.

Let’s not forget too that even after it is purified by the municipality, water loses none of its absorptive qualities. Miles of pipes offer new potential for chemical or biological contamination and even the chlorine that is part of keeping our water uninfected, may in fact, be doing us harm. 

With modern research pointing to an ever-increasing list of potential maladies resulting from improperly filtered tap water, there could be few larger concerns than the purity of our drinking water, both at source and when it is filtered in our homes.

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