The Simple But Complex Process Of Water Treatment

8 September 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

There are many things that people take for granted until they are not available. This often includes electricity and potable water. Before water can get into your cup for you to drink, it has to go through a thorough process that cleans and treats it. This process may seem very complex, but it is all done through a few simple steps.

Water Gathering

The first thing that must happen is for the water treatment plant to obtain water to treat. Your water may come from rivers and streams, or it may come from lakes and underground water. Most water travels to the plant through underground systems. If you ever wonder where your local water treatment plant gets the water, you should contact them. Many cities are proud of having water from local sources, saving taxpayers money.


When you hear the word coagulate, you often think of your blood clotting. Water treatment plants work in a similar fashion. Water treatment plants will test the water and adjust the pH levels while mixing in an aluminum sulfate to get the impurities to stick together, or coagulate. The groups of impurities are then called a floc and the bigger they are, the heavier they are. This means the water needs to be slowed so the floc has the ability to become larger.


Once the flocs have grown and settled, they are ready to move through the next phase of water treatment. Sedimentation is simply when those large flocs settle to the bottom of the basin. When they have settled, they are able to be removed. This process can be repeated until the large particles have all been removed from the water.


While the large particles are easy to remove during sedimentation, not all of the microorganisms can be removed this way. Therefore, after sedimentation, the water is passed through a series of filters to remove the microscopic particles. Filters are made up of layers, often of sand, gravel, and a type of charcoal called anthracite.

Disinfection and Treatment

After the water has been completely purified, it needs to be disinfected from any microorganisms and bacteria that live in the water. This process is done while the water is stored in large holding tanks. Treatment centers will add chlorine for the disinfecting, but then they will add fluoride and other minerals that add to the taste. Water will be tested to determine when the disinfection process has been completed, and only then it will finally be on its way to your home for consumption.

To learn more about water testing, contact a company like Funks Drilling Inc.