Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Drinking Water Treatment - How Contaminated Water is Treated

Drinking water contamination is a huge problem in today's industrialized society. Did you ever wonder how the drinking water treatment process works, and what needs to be done to protect ourselves?

In this article, I'm going to try to give you a quick guide on how our drinking water treatment is done, that is how our municipal water facilities treat our water, from the lakes and rivers to your home. But this method is still not adequate to protecting ourselves from drinking water contamination and ultimately your health.

The first stage of drinking water treatment starts with some type of pre-treatment. What this stage consists of varies, but what it does is to basically pump the water from the source, pre-screen it, that is to remove large debris like branches, and then store it. What follows might consist of pre-conditioning and pre-chlorination.

Then it might try to adjust the pH level. Below 7 means it's acidic and what they try to do here is just to bring it up to at least 7 or above, which would be alkaline.  

I know this might sound boring, but this step is important since, acidic water does a lot more damage to our body then alkaline water does. Our bodies will start to take nutrients out of our teeth and bones to try to level the acidity if the water we drink is acidic. Another scary fact is many facilities might not even use this step in its process to clean the drinking water contamination.

Now, most people wouldn't want to drink water that wasn't clear, right? So the next step might be to use a process called flocculation. All it does is basically throw in some type of small particles, and all the material in the water that gives a color will try to stick itself onto these particles and rise to the top and can be cleared away.

Now the problem is in the actual filtration or treatment of the water. Many municipal facilities use processes like a simple sand-bed filter, which leave a lot of contaminants still left in the water.  

What happens is the water slowly drains through a container of sand and anything that is smaller will drain through. The problem with this is, most of the time, the sand is coarse, leaving many chemicals and bacteria and viruses still within the water.  

Not only that, there are chemicals, especially synthetic ones that are smaller in molecular size than that of water, so that is not going to get filtered out anyways.

They also use many chemicals, including chlorine to treat drinking water contamination, which can be very damaging to our health. Think about it this way, many of the guidelines allow for 3 ppm (parts per million), but simple home test kits for a pool, only allow 1 ppm. If it's not safe to swim in, why should it be safe to drink?

Now, it's hard to cover exactly what your municipal water supply might do for our drinking water treatment. It could be one of the better ones, but since drinking water contamination is such a large dilemma that it is too costly for them to clean to levels that most of us would consider acceptable.

Since drinking water contamination is such a huge problem, it really is up to us to find a drinking water treatment process that can be added to clean our water. The drinking water treatment process I have found to be effective is that we to need a good multi-stage filtration product to filter our water once it reaches our homes.