Have you ever asked the question “How is water purified in a water treatment plant?” Have you ever wondered about the process? If so, the following information should give you a clearer understanding about how water is treated for use in urban or metropolitan locales.
1. Water Coagulation and Flocculation
Coagulation and flocculation are the first measures taken when treating and purifying water for use in Canadian cities and towns. This process involves adding a positive charge to the water. Adding the charge must be done to neutralize the negative charge of grime or other dissolved particles the water contains. When technicians use this method, the particles combine with chemicals to form bigger particles known as floc. You may be able to learn a lot more information from the Global Hydration website and their online resources.
2. Water Sedimentation
Because the floc is more voluminous, it settles to the bottom of the treatment tank. When settling occurs, water technicians refer to the process as sedimentation. This process must happen before the next step, filtration, occurs. This step also answers most people’s question “How is water purified in a water treatment plant?”
3. Water Filtration
When the floc settles to the bottom of a treatment tank, clear water stays at the top. This clearer water supply passes through a series of filters. These filters feature different compositions of filtering materials. Materials include substances such as gravel, sand, or charcoal. Filtration involves varying pore sizes as well. This part of the process enables technicians to removed dissolved particles from the water supply. Particles include bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and parasites.
All filtration systems filter the water for specific uses. For example, the filtering used for an industrial site may be different than filtration methods used for agri-food irrigation or household use. The two most common filter media used in Canada are sand or gravel and carbon. Filter media may be employed in both biological and conventional filters.
Biological filters make it possible to do the following:
- Capture particles
- Use natural organisms to purify water
These filters support a slower water flow.
Conventional water filters, also known as conventional rapid filters, trap particles in a fairly fast flow.
Other filter media include substances such as birm or anthracite, depending on the type of water purification desired. Filtering water is not enough. Disinfection must take place to ensure the safety of a drinking water supply.
4. Water Disinfection
This part of the purification treatment must be done to kill any remaining viruses, bacteria, or parasites. Disinfection also safeguards the water piped into businesses and home from germs. Chlorine or chloramine disinfect water supplies in most areas.
5. Water Analysis
Whilst the above steps basically clean and purify drinking, water, lab researchers must also take intermittent measures to ensure that the water remains safe to drink. Analytical methods enable water purification professionals to measure specific contaminants in water supplies.
These methods include collecting, preserving, and storing samples before identifying and measuring sample contaminants. This step ensures that the treatment centre meets quality control mandates. Reports of an analysis give water technicians the information they need to keep drinking water safe and in good supply.
Chlorination or chloramination enables drinking water technicians to add chlorine or chloramine to water supplies to kill germs. Chloramination is used as an alternative method to chlorination. Chloramines feature chemical compounds that contain ammonia and chlorine. When used in disinfection, this type of chloramine is referred to as a monochloramine.
6. Defining the Contaminants in Water
To ensure the analysis of a sample, lab specialists must identify the nature of drinking water contaminants. Contaminants fall into the following categories:
- Physical contaminants affect the physical looks or other physical properties of a water supply. Physical contaminants include organic materials suspended from soil erosion or sediment.
- Chemical contaminants make up compounds or elements. They may naturally occur in a water supply or originate from man-made sources. Examples of chemicals include bleach, nitrogen, pesticides, salts, metals, or toxic substances produced from drugs or bacteria.
- Radiological contaminants feature elements with protons and neutrons out of balance. In turn, radiation results. Some examples of radiological contaminants include uranium, plutonium, or cesium.
- Biological contaminants make up organisms in water supplies. They may be referred to as microbiological particles or microbes. Some examples of these contaminants include viruses, protozoan, parasites, and bacteria.
When these contaminants are found in higher numbers, technicians must quickly assess the problem and review the methods used for filtering and disinfection.