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Water treatment
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For medical water treatment, see Water cure (therapy).


Water treatment is, collectively, the
industrial-scale processes that makes

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water more acceptable for an end-use,

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which may be drinking, industry, or

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medicine. Water treatment is unlike

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portable water purification that campers

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practice. Water treatment should

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remove existing water contaminants or

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Abandoned Water Purification Plant


Springfield, Tennessee, United States

so reduce their concentration that their


water becomes fit for its desired enduse, which may be safely returning used water to the environment.
The term "water treatment" generally refers to potable water production from

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raw water, whereas "wastewater treatment" refers to the treatment of polluted

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water, where the pollution could be from human waste, industry, agricultural

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waste or other sources of pollution.

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The processes involved in treating water for drinking purposes to provide a safe
source of water supply may be solids separation using physical processes such
as settling and filtration, and chemical processes such as disinfection and
coagulation. Water purification is the removal of contaminants from untreated
water to produce drinking water that is pure enough for the most critical of its
intended uses, usually for human consumption. Substances that are removed
during the process of drinking water treatment include suspended solids,
bacteria, algae, viruses, fungi, minerals such as iron, manganese and sulfur,

and other chemical pollutants such as fertilisers.

etina

Measures taken to ensure water quality not only relate to the treatment of the

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water, but to its conveyance and distribution after treatment as well. It is


therefore common practice to have residual disinfectants in the treated water in
order to kill any bacteriological contamination during distribution.
World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines are generally followed throughout
the world for drinking water quality requirements. In addition to the WHO
guidelines, each country or territory or water supply body can have their own
guidelines in order for consumers to have access to safe drinking water.
Contents
1 Treatment for drinking water production

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1.1 Processes
1.2 Disinfectants
2 Polluted water treatment

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2.1 Wastewater treatment


2.2 Industrial water and wastewater treatment
2.3 Research and innovation
3 Society and culture
3.1 Developing countries
4 See also
5 References
6 Further reading
7 External links

Treatment for drinking water production

[ edit ]

Main article: Water purification


Treatment for drinking water production - or "water purification" - is the removal
of contaminants from untreated water to produce drinking water that is pure
enough for the most critical of its intended uses, usually for human
consumption. Substances that are removed during the process of drinking water
treatment include suspended solids, bacteria, algae, viruses, fungi, minerals
such as iron, manganese and sulfur, and other chemical pollutants such as
fertilisers.
Measures taken to ensure water quality not only relate to the treatment of the
water, but to its conveyance and distribution after treatment as well. It is
therefore common practice to have residual disinfectants in the treated water in
order to kill any bacteriological contamination during distribution.
World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines are generally followed throughout
the world for drinking water quality requirements. In addition to the WHO
guidelines, each country or territory or water supply body can have their own
guidelines in order for consumers to have access to safe drinking water.

Processes

[ edit ]

A combination selected from the following processes is used for municipal


drinking water treatment worldwide:
Pre-chlorination for algae control and arresting biological growth
Aeration along with pre-chlorination for removal of dissolved iron and
manganese
Coagulation for flocculation
Coagulant aids, also known as polyelectrolytes - to improve coagulation and
for thicker floc formation
Sedimentation for solids separation, that is removal of suspended solids
trapped in the floc
Filtration to remove particles from water
Desalination processes for removing salt from the water

Disinfection for killing bacteria.


There is no unique solution (selection of
processes) for any type of water. Also, it
is difficult to standardize the solution in
the form of processes for water from
different sources. Treatability studies for
each source of water in different
seasons need to be carried out to arrive
at most appropriate processes.
Technologies for potable water
treatment are well developed, and
generalized designs are available that
are used by many water utilities (public
or private). In addition, a number of
private companies provide patented

Empty aeration tank for iron


precipitation

technological solutions. Automation of


water and waste-water treatment is
common in the developed world. Capital
costs, operating costs available quality
monitoring technologies, locally available
skills typically dictate the level of
automation adopted.

Disinfectants

[ edit ]

Disinfectants: ozone, as a very strong


oxidant, is one of the main disinfectants
used to purify water. As ozone breaks

Tanks with sand filters to remove


precipitated iron (not working at the
time)

down in the water, a complex chain


reaction mechanism occurs under the
effect of the various solutes in the water are released during purification
treatment. Its ability to inactivate living cells can be extended to the point of
provoking their lysis.[1]:356357
Ultraviolet light (UV) is produced using ultraviolet lamps with quartz covers. UV
produces a minimum of by-products when treating the water.[1]:364365
Other: an advanced oxidation process (AOP) is a system to purify water by
chemical oxidation to deactivate residual organic pollutants. AOPs are capable
of generating a more powerful and less selective secondary oxidant in the
reaction medium by activating an available primary oxidant. AOP has been only
gradually used in the water treatment industry. One of the many AOP systems,
the combined O3/H2O2, is the most widely used one especially for the purpose
of destroying pesticides[which?] in order to produce water for human
consumption.[1]:365367

Polluted water treatment

[ edit ]

Wastewater treatment

[ edit ]

Main article: Wastewater treatment


Wastewater treatment is the
process that removes the
majority of the
contaminants from
wastewater or sewage and
produces both a liquid
effluent suitable for disposal
to the natural environment
and a sludge. Biological
processes can be employed
in the treatment of

A sewage treatment plant in northern Portugal.

wastewater and these


processes may include, for example, aerated lagoons, activated sludge or slow
sand filters. To be effective, sewage must be conveyed to a treatment plant by
appropriate pipes and infrastructure and the process itself must be subject to
regulation and controls. Some wastewaters require different and sometimes
specialized treatment methods. At the simplest level, treatment of sewage and
most wastewaters is carried out through separation of solids from liquids,
usually by sedimentation. By progressively converting dissolved material into
solids, usually a biological floc, which is then settled out, an effluent stream of
increasing purity is produced.[2][3]

Industrial water and wastewater treatment

[ edit ]

Main articles: Industrial water treatment and Industrial wastewater treatment


Two of the main processes of industrial water treatment are boiler water
treatment and cooling water treatment. A lack of proper water treatment can
lead to the reaction of solids and bacteria within pipe work and boiler housing.
Steam boilers can suffer from scale or corrosion when left untreated. Scale
deposits can lead to weak and dangerous machinery, while additional fuel is
required to heat the same level of water because of the rise in thermal
resistance. Poor quality dirty water can become a breeding ground for bacteria
such as Legionella causing a risk to public health.
With the proper treatment, a significant proportion of industrial on-site
wastewater might be reusable. This can save money in three ways: lower
charges for lower water consumption, lower charges for the smaller volume of
effluent water discharged and lower energy costs due to the recovery of heat in
recycled wastewater.
Corrosion in low pressure boilers can be caused by dissolved oxygen, acidity
and excessive alkalinity. Water treatment therefore should remove the dissolved
oxygen and maintain the boiler water with the appropriate pH and alkalinity
levels. Without effective water treatment, a cooling water system can suffer from

scale formation, corrosion and fouling and may become a breeding ground for
harmful bacteria. This reduces efficiency, shortens plant life and makes
operations unreliable and unsafe.[4]

Research and innovation

[ edit ]

As of 2015, a new bioenergy sewage treatment and water purification process


aimed at developing countries is undergoing trials; the Omni Processor is a selfsustaining process which uses the sewerage solids as fuel to convert the
wastewater into drinking water and surplus electrical energy.[5][6]

Society and culture


Developing countries

[ edit ]

[ edit ]

As of 2006, waterborne diseases are estimated to have caused 1.8 million


deaths each year. These deaths are attributable to inadequate public sanitation
systems and in these cases, proper sewerage (or other options such as smallscale wastewater treatment) which need to be installed.[7]
Appropriate technology options in water treatment include both communityscale and household-scale point-of-use (POU) designs.[8] Such designs may
employ solar water disinfection methods, using solar irradiation to inactivate
harmful waterborne microorganisms directly, mainly by the UV-A component of
the solar spectrum, or indirectly through the presence of an oxide photocatalyst,
typically supported TiO2 in its anatase or rutile phases.[9] Despite progress in
SODIS technology, military surplus water treatment units like the ERDLator are
still frequently used in developing countries. Newer military style Reverse
Osmosis Water Purification Units (ROWPU) are portable, self-contained water
treatment plants are becoming more available for public use.[10]
In order for the decrease of waterborne diseases to have long-term effects,
water treatment programs implemented by research and development groups in
developing countries must be sustainable by their citizens. This can ensure the
efficiency of such programs after the departure of the research team as
monitoring is difficult because of the remoteness of many locations.

See also

[ edit ]

Agricultural wastewater treatment


Water softening
Peak water (water supply & demand)
Pulsed-power water treatment
Reclaimed water
Water purification
Water quality

References
1. ^

a bc

[ edit ]

Andriamirado, L., Asensi, D., Ballard, T., Bele, P., Bernard, M.,

Bourdelot, J., Brunet, J., & Cachot, L. (2007). Water treatment handbook 1 (7th
ed.). Rueil-Malmaison, France: Degrmont. OCLC 173609962 .
2. ^ "Primer for Municipal Waste water Treatment Systems"

(PDF) . Washington,

DC: US Environmental Protection Agency. 2004., Document no. EPA 832-R-04001.


3. ^ Metcalf & Eddy, Inc. (1972). Wastewater Engineering. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 007-041675-3.
4. ^ Cicek, V. (2013). "Corrosion and corrosion prevention in boilers". Cathodic
protection: industrial solutions for protecting against corrosion. Hoboken, New
Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118737880.
5. ^ "Janicki Bioenergy website"

. Retrieved 11 January 2015.

6. ^ "Bill Gates drinks water distilled from human faeces"

. BBC news. Retrieved

11 January 2015.
7. ^ "Safe Water System"

(PDF) . Fact Sheet, World Water Forum 4 Update.

Atlanta: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. June 2006.


8. ^ "Household Water Treatment Guide"

. Centre for Affordable Water and

Sanitation Technology, Canada. March 2008.


9. ^ "Sand as a low-cost support for titanium dioxide photocatalysts"

. Materials

Views. Wiley VCH.


10. ^ Lindsten, Don C. (September 1984). "Technology transfer: Water purification,
U.S. Army to the civilian community". The Journal of Technology Transfer 9 (1):
5759. doi:10.1007/BF02189057 .

Further reading

[ edit ]

Eaton, Andrew D.; Franson, Mary Ann H. (2005). Standard methods for the
examination of water and wastewater (21 ed.). American Public Health Association.
ISBN 978-0-87553-047-5.

External links

[ edit ]

International Water Association


Professional / research organization
Center for Biological and

Wikimedia Commons has


media related to Water
treatment.

Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN), Rice University


NSF International

- Independent non-profit standards organization

Transnational Ecological Project


Water Environment Federation

- Industrial wastewater treatment (Russia)


- Professional association focusing on

wastewater treatment
WHO.int , WHO Guidelines
Safe and Sustainable Water for Haiti web site hosted by Grand Valley State
University
Authority control

NDL: 00567744

Categories: Waste treatment technology

This page was last modified on 9 February 2016, at 03:02.

Water pollution

Water treatment

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