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Quality Water Filters 4 You Posting Page
Monday, June 20, 2011
For most people, drinking water treatment takes place at their local water treatment plant. The goals of the drinking water treatment plant include (but are not limited to): removing sediment and particulate matter, disinfection, fluoridation, and delivery of the finished product to storage tanks.

Most people do not realize how much work and how much science goes into the process of drinking water treatment. The reason for all this work and science is simple: the water released from treatment plants must meet current EPA guidelines which set out maximum levels for a variety of water issues. Also, states may impose stricter guidelines on their water treatment plants as well. The water released from treatment plants is constantly tested both at the plant as well as in the field.

The manner in which your drinking water is treated depends on several factors. The first factor is whether or not the source water comes from a open source such as river or lake or from an underground aquifer. Water that comes from under the earth often contains more mineral content, such as iron and manganese, than water that is taken from an open source. Conversely, water taken from an open source often has more bacteria in it than well water. In each case, the treatment plant must adjust its processes and chemistry to address the individual needs of the water they bring into for treatment.

Virtually all incoming water will be given a pre-treatment to disinfect it. This is often done with chlorine, but other disinfectants can be used. After this pre-disinfection is performed, the water is often treated with alum, or aluminum sulfate. Alum causes the fine particulate matter in the water to "bunch" together. Once the matter gets to a certain size, it will be heavy enough to fall to the bottom of what are called settling tanks.

This settling process will remove a great deal of the unwanted material from the water but not all of it. The water then goes through a filtering process which often involves filtering the water through a deep sand and anthracite filter. From here the water goes into a storage tank where it is then pumped out into the system, after it is given another injection of disinfectant and a small dose of fluoride (in some locations).

All through this drinking water treatment process, the plant will test for various contaminants such as iron and manganese. If needed, the plant will begin treatment processes to remove those contaminants from the water.

Periodically, usually once a month, the water company will send out technicians to test the water in the field. This testing is required by law and the results of these field tests must be recorded and sent to both the state and the EPA. If problems are found, notification to customers is often mandatory, but can be slow in coming, with water companies often given 30 days to notify its customers.

For this reason, many consumers are installing in-home water filters to better protect their drinking water as it comes into the home. The combination of drinking water treatment from the plant with the use of an in-home water filer gives consumers the best possible defense against contaminated water.

by: Chris Tracey


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