What is the process of purifying water?
Water is the basis of all life. Without it humans would not be able to survive on this planet. Yet only 2.5% of the water available in this planet is actually fresh water and very little of that could be classed as pure.
The Issue With Water
Water rises from the oceans and goes into the sky to form clouds. This eventually returns to the earth in the form of rain. In many cases this water is pure. But the process of it falling through the sky leaves it open to pollutants in the air.
This water then travels through rocks and the soil to get to the reservoirs. In the process it will pick up natural minerals, metals, chemicals from factories and farms and even bacteria.
The result is the water in our reservoirs and lake cannot be deemed safe to drink.
The water treatment works using several processes to ensure all the contaminants are removed and the bacteria are killed. These include:
- Coarse Filtration
This is simply very fine sand or carbon. The water passes through it and the debris and other minerals are removed; trapped by the filters.
It is the first step to purifying the water.
- Micro Filtration
This is a follow up to the coarse filtration. It uses a finer filter to ensure all the particles are removed.
- Chemical Addition
The water treatment plants will then add chemicals such as fluoride to kill the bacteria in the water. This is a very effective way of doing this and ensures the water is debris and bacterial free before it is dispatched to your home.
However, there are those that argue the chlorine can cause health issues. Alongside this it is possible for the water to pick up more bacteria and contaminants on the journey to your home. This is why many people use quality Sydney water filters to ensure the water at their tap is safe to drink.
Other Methods of Purifying Water
These are not usually used by the water treatment plants but can also be effective:
As water boils and turns into steam it leaves all impurities behind. Of course you need to catch the steam and allow this to condense to actually have the pure water.
- Reverse Osmosis
This process uses molecules to bind to the unwanted substances in your water. It is effective and completely naturally. In fact some water filters rely on this to draw the remove salt after hard water has been softened.
- Activated Carbon
When carbon is activated it develops thousands of tiny holes which trap bacteria and other contaminants. The water passes through and is cleaned during the process.
Activated carbon is common in home water filtration systems and is very effective at purifying water.
Ultraviolet light is actually quite dangerous; although we experience it all the time. At the right wave length it can sterilize bacteria in water. Allowing them to be broken down and rendered harmless.
Water is important to human life, but it needs to be clean. That’s why there are so many methods for purifying it and why there will probably be more in the future!