Water Purification - What is Water Purification?

Flocculation and Sedimentation
Filtration
Disinfection
Ion Exchange
Absorption

When a water supplier takes untreated water from places such as rivers or reservoirs, the water often contains impurities such as dirt, tiny pieces of leaves, trace amounts of certain contaminants and other organic matter. Water purification, sometimes also referred to as drinking water treatment, is a term describing the removal of these impurities from the water. The drinking water treatment involves a number of steps. Depending on the type of impurities discovered, the number and type of treatment process will vary.

Different water supplier uses different treatment processes to remove contaminants from drinking water. These treatment processes are organized into a series of processes. The most commonly employed treatment processes include filtration, flocculation and sedimentation, and disinfection for surface water. Some treatment plants also employ ion exchange and adsorption processes.

Flocculation and Sedimentation

Flocculation is referred to as the water treatment processes which combines or coagulate small particles into larger particles. These particles then settle out of the water as a form of sediments. Coagulation is promoted with the use of alum and iron salts or synthetic organic polymers. Sedimentation takes place naturally as flocculated particles settle out of the water.

Filtration

Filtration is used by many water treatment facilities to remove all the particles such as clays, silts and natural organic matter from other treatment processes from the water. The filtration process purifies the water and increases the effectiveness of disinfection.

Disinfection

Water is frequently disinfected before it enters the distribution system. The purpose of disinfection is to ensure that potentially dangerous microbes are destroyed. Chlorine and ozone are often used because they are very effective disinfectants Microbes can also be destroyed through UVA radiation and temperature which are provided by the Sun.

Ion Exchange

Ion exchange processes are used to eliminate inorganic contaminants if they cannot be adequately destroyed by filtration or sedimentation. Ion exchange can be used to treat hard water and can also be used to remove contaminants such as arsenic, chromium, excess fluoride, nitrates, radium, and uranium.

Absorption

Unwanted coloring, taste, organic contaminants and odor-causing compounds attaches themselves to the surface of activated carbon and hence they are removed from the drinking water.

Source: AZoCleantech
Last update 5th March 2008

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