Most of us consider water to be the purest substance in the world. Unfortunately, water is also a very effective solvent, which means that when it comes into contact with minerals, organic material, chemicals and even manmade pollutants, quality can be adversely affected. When water supplies become compromised by these contaminants, it may mean that it is no longer safe for consumption or even use around our homes. Fortunately, today there are a number of highly effective treatment methods that can change undrinkable and bad tasting liquid back into that clean and clear water we’ve come to expect. So, here we will explore the top water treatment methods that may be employed to ensure that your water supply is safe. 

Flocculation/ Coagulation 

Some water treatment facilities employ coagulation water treatment techniques to clean supplies. This involves adding a polymer or liquid aluminum sulfate to untreated or raw water. This mixture causes any particles of dirt in the water to stick together or coagulate. The groups of dirt attach together to create flocs that can be more easily removed using settling or filtration.  


When the water and flocs are passed through a treatment process, they travel to sedimentation basins. In the basins, the water moves very slowly, and this allows the heavier floc particles to settle at the bottom. This accumulation of floc is called sludge and is carried to drying lagoons. In some treatment facilities, this step is skipped, and the plant employs direct filtration techniques. 


During filtration, the water is passed through a filter to remove any particles remaining in the water. These filters are usually sand or gravel, but crushed anthracite may also be used. This is a vital step to improve the effectiveness of disinfection, which is the final stage of water treatment before the water supplies are distributed to homes and businesses in the local area.  


Before the water can go to the distribution system, it needs to be disinfected. This stage of water treatment is needed to eliminate any viruses, parasites or disease causing bacteria. This process usually involves adding chlorine, which is a highly effective disinfectant, but due to the development of disinfection by products compromising water quality, some treatment plants use chloramine or other forms of disinfectant.  


The final stage of water treatment is usually fluoridation. Fluoride is added to water supplies to reduce the instances of dental cavities. This is relatively new legislation passed in 2008 after Nebraska Dental Association lobbying and support from the American Dental Association. The mandate requires that municipalities with a population of more than 1,000 fluoridate water supplies, but some communities have the option to opt out. Current data suggests that over 70% of Nebraska public water systems are not fluoridated.  

A great deal of care is taken to ensure that public water supplies are safe, but unfortunately, this is no guarantee that you receive the best quality drinking water. Old pipes, leaks and even traces of disinfectant chemicals remaining in your water can mean that your water is not the best tasting drinking water. Fortunately, you can ensure that your family enjoys the best quality water with a domestic water treatment system. These devices provide a final barrier of protection to remove any unwanted contaminants or chemicals, so you can be confident that your water is safe and clean.

With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative.  Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.