Introduction to Water Treatment

Water treatment is a process of improving the quality of water into desirable drinking and other purposes. The main objective of water treatment is to ensure consumer's health by treating the water and making it safe for human consumption.

Water is treated in water treatment plants undergoing various standard procedures. Water treatment is done to reduce turbidity and removing pathogens that cause diseases like typhoid, dysentery, and cholera.

 

Different water treatment processes are

  1. Screening

  2. Aeration

  3. Sedimentation

  4. Filteration

  5. Disinfection

  6. Softening

  7. Fluoridation

Screening

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Screening is done to remove solids particles such as pieces of wood, plastics, papers, rags, leaves, roots, etc. and also to ensure the protection of pumps, valves, pipelines, and impellers.

Screening is done based on classifications such as

  • Opening Size - Coarse, Medium, Fine

  • Configuration - Bar Screens, Mesh Screens

  • Cleaning Method - Manual, Mechanical, Raked, Water Jet

  • Screen Surface - Fixed, Moving

Aeration

Aeration is done to remove dissolved gases such as carbon dioxide in water and oxidizes dissolved metals such as iron, hydrogen sulfide and volatile organic chemicals. It enhances the taste, reduces odor and color.

Sedimentation

Sedimentation is nothing but settling of particles spontaneously from standing water. It is used to remove the majority of settleable solids from raw water. Generally, this process is done in the initial stages of water treatment before the water passes to filter to avoid solid load on filter and to increase the efficiency of the treatment plant.

Filtration

Filtration is one of the oldest methods of treating water and yet a simple and efficient method. This process is done by allowing water to pass through a bed of fine particles, usually sand.

  • Filtration removes fine suspended solids and other particles such as larger microorganisms.

  • Usually sand filtration method is preferred as water passes through the sand bed slowly and a thin layer of microorganisms is formed over the sand bed.

Disinfection

There are various methods through which disinfection can be achieved, selection of disinfection process is crucial, proper method should be adopted based on the nature of raw water and output requirements. It is adopted to kill harmful microorganisms and to prevent microorganisms regrowing in the distribution systems.

Softening

Softening is done to reduce hardness of water. Hard water is water that has high dissolved mineral content and has high concentrations of calcium and magnesium ions. Hardness in water cause serious plumbing problems in both residential and commercial applications.

Fluoridation

Water fluoridation is the process of adjusting fluoride content in water to prevent decaying of tooth. By adjusting the flouride to 0.7 milligrams or 0.7 ppm per litre, prevention of  tooth decay can be achieved.

Water supply and water distribution

Water after treatment is stored and distributed to the households through a network. It is achieved by a network of large trunk mains to water storage reservoirs and then they are fed to the household through a network of smaller water mains.

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