Everyone needs clean water, and that makes the water treatment industry one of the most important in the world. More and more people are investing in it as it as the technology becomes more advanced and more vital to society. There are a few broad techniques that can be used to purify water and make it drinkable. Society depends on those techniques, so everyone should strive to understand how they work.
Distillation is an easy, but expensive, way to purify water. It relies on boiling to separate the fluid from contaminants. The boiling point of water is very low, so it will turn into a gas before any of the substances that are in it. The gas can then be pumped into a separate chamber and condensed back into a liquid, while the contaminants remain behind. That takes a lot of energy, so it is only used when absolutely necessary, but it is a powerful option.
Most water in nature is full of particles. Dust, minerals, and other debris can dissolve in the water, and they need to be removed before it becomes drinkable.
The process is fairly simple. The workers introduce chemicals into the water, which bond with the particles that are suspended in it. That causes them to stick together into bigger lumps, which are too heavy to stay in the water. They settle out of the water and sink to the bottom of the container over time. The water flows on to the next stage of the process, while the particles stay behind and can be removed from the system.
That takes most of the particles out of the water, but a few of them will remain. Living contamination, such as bacteria and some parasites, can also remain in the water after the first part of the treatment. Filtering those substances out of the water is the next step.
Water filters are usually slabs of material with tiny holes in them. Those holes vary in size, but most of them are so small that even bacteria cannot pass through them. Water molecules are tiny, so they can get through the filters even thought the contamination gets trapped. The water will normally pass through several different filters before it moves on to the next stage, just to be safe.
Most, if not all, of the microbes will be dead at this stage, but the water needs protection to make sure that it doesn’t pick up more while it is being transported to its destination. Adding a little bit of chlorine will finish off any remaining microbes and kill any that come into contact with the water in the future. Some jurisdictions add other treatments, such as fluoride, at this stage. Once that is complete, the water is ready for use.