The importance of clean water is essential for obvious reasons. Clean water ensures that we do not become ridden with disease, it allows us to clean ourselves, our homes, and even our pets. Clean drinking water is an entirely different ball game that requires a high level of sanitation and inspection in order to maintain our health at an optimal level.
Understanding the general well being of the public and how water treatments and sanitation systems aid to this huge responsibility is not one that many know much about. Often times clean water can be taken for granted, especially in developed countries. Many times, people might not even know where their water is coming from, all they know is that it is indeed clean and safe to drink. Merus is a great source for help with maintaining clean water standards for the public to use and consume in their homes is truly a thankless job.
Listed below are some of the ways that water treatment helps solve common water problems.
- Coagulation and flocculation is the first step in ensuring the proper sanitation of our water. Drinking water typically comes from freshwater lakes, rivers, wells, or even streams. Within these different water sources you will find various amounts of organic materials and sediments that translate to sand, bacteria, dirt, amongst other non-drinkable materials have to be removed.
To begin the process of cleaning the cities drinking water, treatment begins by adding coagulants to force the non-drinkable particles and sediments in the water stick together, or congeal. The water and sediments in the water do this in something that is called a flocculation basin. In this area, the coagulants are mixed for a period of time before moving to the next step in treatment.
- Sedimentation is the next step in removing the large coagulated sediment particles from the soon to be drinking water. This is essentially another basin that allows room for these sediments to fall to the bottom of the basin before continuing through this process.
- During the filtration process, the water will begin to look clearer than it did when it started treatment. However, this is where the tricky part lies as there are still microscopic bacteria living within this water that could harm anyone drinking it. Which is what makes this particular part of the process so important before allowing the population to ingest it.
- Sand filters are then used to ensure that the water is completely filtered and viable to drink safely. In the sand filtration process you will find, fine, medium, to coarse sand one on top of the other. The most common way they are used is by passing water through from the bottom to the top of the sand basin. They work pretty organically, as in the water flows through and the unwanted particles attach themselves to the sand throughout this process.
- An additional step used by some water treatment plants are using activated carbon basins to clear out any remaining particles within the water. Activated carbon contains very tiny holes that again allow for microscopic bacteria and sediment to get stuck on and become successfully removed from our drinking water.
- Disinfection will be one of the last steps in the complete sanitation of the water we drink. This means that either chlorine, ozone, or UV treatments will finally be applied to remove any pathogens left in the water.
- Lastly, the water quality needs to abide by the permit granted from governing bodies. If after all these steps the water still shows to have pathogens, bacteria, and sediments in it, then it will not be fit for human consumption.