For many of us, having clean water flowing out of our faucets is a given, but most consumers don’t appreciate everything our water goes through before it reaches our homes. The water treatment process is designed to ensure your water supply is clean and safe, so it is a good idea to have an understanding of the basics.
The water treatment process involves disinfecting and purifying untreated ground and surface water. This is often undertaken at public water treatment facilities that are designed to create potable, safe drinking water. Although the primary purpose of the treatment is to create safe drinking water, it also needs to be palatable and meet the demands of the community.
Untreated, raw water is typically sourced from underground aquifers through wells or from surface water sources such as lakes or rivers. From the water source, the water is pumped up into the treatment facility where it is pretreated to remove debris such as leaves or silt. From this point, the water passes through a variety of treatments, including filtration and disinfection that use physical processes or different chemicals. The entire process is complex and includes eliminating microorganisms that can cause illness and disease.
Because of the potentially harmful effects of low quality or poorly treated water, the entire cleaning process has to be closely monitored for quality control purposes. Once the water has gone through the complete treatment process, it is released to the community through a distribution system of pipes and pumps before ending up in the main line water valve for individual households.
The Differences Between Public and Private Treatment
Not all water supplies are treated in public facilities. Public treatment systems are municipal that are owned and operated by the city or town serviced. These facilities are often under the management of elected officials. Private treatment systems can vary from a basic, single well that serves one household to corporate associations that serve groups of homes. Although the size of a water treatment facility may vary, there are still regulations and standards that require compliance. Every water utility in the United States servicing more than twenty five people must adhere to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency regulations and rules.
The Private Wells Regulations
Although there are water treatment regulations for larger systems, individually owned, private wells are not subject to these rules. This leaves the full responsibility for maintaining water quality with the homeowner. It is estimated that fifteen percent of consumers in the United States, particularly in rural areas rely on privately owned wells for water supplies. This means that homeowners need to ensure that their water supply is not only safe for consumption, but also free of unpleasant chemical contaminants. For this reason, these homeowners often choose to install a domestic water treatment system to eliminate any potentially harmful contaminants from the water supply at source.
If you are interested in learning more about water treatment or have concerns about the safety of your water supply, be sure to speak to an experienced water treatment professional.
By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.