Tap water treatment
Several years ago, controlling waterborne diseases was the main reason why water was treated. Today small and large water agencies try hard to make sure people everywhere get the highest quality drinking water. However, despite the efforts, there has been outbreaks of typhoid, cholera and other waterborne diseases in various states. These and other infections are frequent, which has led to different methods being used to treat tap water. Here are five ways used and reasons why they are still enough to make tap water safe for drinking.
Tap water treatment processes
Your tap water is subjected to screening before passing through other treatment processes before it gets to your home. Water from natural sources like the ground, lakes and rivers passes through a screen before it enters a treatment plant. The screen serves as an important function where large contaminants like wood, plants or fish are kept out. Groundwater also needs screening even if it passes through layers of the earth. The larger particles are kept out of the treatment plant to prevent further disruption during the purification process.
During the coagulation process, workers at the treatment plant add chemicals like alum to the water. The chemicals cause tiny sticky particles to form. They also attract dirt in the water, making them heavy enough to sink to the water storage tank bottom. This process allows for easy conveyor removal. In other instances, the dirt particles rise to the surface and skimmed off easily.
Sedimentation is a water treatment process that uses gravity to remove suspended solid particles from the water. Also called settling basins or clarifier, a sedimentation basin is a large tank with lower velocity. The low water velocity allows the dirt to settle at the bottom before they are removed. The heavy dirt formed sits at the bottom until removal.
The filtration process is when treated water passes through several layers of sand, gravel and perhaps charcoal for filtration. All the remaining particles are removed during this process. The gravel, sand and charcoal are often about a foot deep or about 2 ½ feet deep . The sand and gravel make sure all remaining dirt particles remain there as the water passes to other treatment basins in the plant. Other processing plants use cloth, carbon, trap and even crushed walnut shell to filter out the water before it gets to reservoirs.
After coagulation, sedimentation and filtration the water goes into a reservoir or closed tank where disinfecting begins. Chemicals like choline that kill remaining bacteria and microorganisms are added into the water. They help keep the water clean before and during distribution. Even when the treatment plant near you uses groundwater, disinfection is essential to treat the water before it gets to your tap. After this process, the water is distributed to the community. Only then will the treated water flows through pipes to your home or business premises. Tap water is the final product of the water treating process.
Why is treated tap water still not fit for drinking?
Through all the processes that treated water goes through, there are still some particles that manage to slip through and get to your tap. Bacteria and microorganisms can get to your tap. The chemicals added like chlorine, arsenic and fluorine are still available in the tap water getting into your home. This poses a risk to your health.
There are different contaminants found in tap water that you wouldn’t even have thought or known.For example, recently, the sludge chemical from shoe manufacturers in Michigan was present in Plainfield Township tap water. According to women’s health website, “The area lies about 120 miles from Flint, where, in 2015, dangerous levels of lead were found in the cities drinking supply.
Experts soon linked the tainted water to local outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease (a severe form of pneumonia). More than a dozen people died, fertility rates plummeted, and the toll on countless children’s future health might not be known for a generation.”
There are other cases that go unreported, but the truth is, tap water contains potentially harmful things. Michigan is not the only state, The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, found that about one-quarter of Americans drink water from plants that violate the Safe Drinking Water Act regulations .
Alternative to tap water
Some people think that drinking bottled water is the safest way out. However, some sources claim that bottled water is the same as tap water. There are better ways you can get safe water for drinking.
For example, using water filters, is the best way to access clean and safe water for drinking.Check out our best selling and reviewed water filters here