In recent years, rising oil and gas output from unconventional shale plays has generated tremendous wealth for producers, oilfield service providers, and the wider economy. However, it has also placed increasing strains on natural resources, such as water.Read more
- Water treatment processes
- Water can be contaminated by
- Standard water treatment steps
- Water desalination process
- Water recycling process
- Water processing companies
- Water cycle processes
- Drinking water treatment process innovations
Water treatment processes
Safe and clean water is vital for everyday life. Water is essential for health and hygiene.
Drinking water sources are subject to contamination and require appropriate treatment to remove disease-causing agents. Public drinking water systems use various methods of water treatment to provide safe drinking water for their communities.
Water can be contaminated by the following agents:
- Pathogens – disease-causing organisms that include viruses, bacteria and amoebas, as well as the eggs and larvae of parasitic worms.
- Harmful chemicals from human activities (industrial wastes, pesticides, fertilizers).
- Chemicals and minerals from the natural environment, such as arsenic, common salt and fluorides. Some non-harmful contaminants may influence the taste, smell, color, or temperature of water.
The water treatment processes may vary a little at different water treatment plants, depending on the available technology and the water it needs to process, but the basic principles are broadly the same.
Standard water treatment steps:
1. Coagulation / Flocculation
Coagulation and flocculation are used to remove colour, turbidity, algae and other microorganisms from surface waters. During coagulation, liquid aluminium sulfate (alum) and/or polymer is added to the untreated water. When mixed with the water, this causes the tiny particles of dirt in the water to stick together or coagulate. Next, groups of dirt particles stick together to form larger, heavier particles called flocs which are easier to remove by settling or filtration.
The flocculated water then flows to the next major unit of the water purification process, called sedimentation. The purpose of the sedimentation process is to remove suspended solids (particles) that are denser (heavier) than water and to reduce the particulate load on the filters.
As the water and the floc particles progress through the treatment process, they move into sedimentation basins where the water moves slowly, causing the heavy floc particles to settle to the bottom. Floc which collects on the bottom of the basin is called sludge, and is piped to drying lagoons.
This process of sedimentation removes almost ninety percent of the solids in the water. The clearer water on the surface is collected in the launder tubes that direct the water to the filter gallery to remove the remaining ten percent of solids.
3. Water filtration process
In the water filtration process, water flows through filters of varying compositions (sand, gravel, and charcoal) and pore sizes, in order to remove dissolved particles, such as dust, parasites, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals. Filtration collects the suspended impurities in water and enhances the effectiveness of disinfection.
After the water has been filtered, a disinfectant (for example, chlorine, chloramine) may be added in order to kill any remaining parasites, bacteria, and viruses, and to protect the water from germs when it is piped to homes and businesses. Chlorine is used because it is a very effective disinfectant, and residual concentrations can be maintained to guard against possible biological contamination in the water distribution system.
5. Sludge Drying
Sludge drying is the process of transforming sludge into useful products or green fuel. It significantly reduces the volume and weight of the sludge so that it is easier to recover.
Water fluoridation is the controlled addition of fluoride to a public water supply to reduce tooth decay. Fluoridated water contains fluoride at a level that is effective for preventing cavities.
7. Water Process Laboratory
The water treatment plant has a process laboratory to ensure that the water cleaning process is optimized and that the water is safe to drink.
Water desalination process
Desalination, also called desalting, removal of dissolved salts from seawater and in some cases from the brackish (slightly salty) waters of inland seas, highly mineralized groundwaters (e.g., geothermal brines), and municipal wastewaters. This process renders such otherwise unusable waters fit for human consumption, irrigation, industrial applications, and various other purposes. One by-product of desalination is salt.
Water recycling process
Water recycling is the process of converting wastewater into water that can be reused for other purposes. The water recycling process is actually remarkably simple and utilizes very basic physical, biological, and chemical principles to remove contaminants from water. Reclaiming water for reuse applications instead of using freshwater supplies can be a water-saving measure.
Water processing companies
Water processing companies offer the chemical and equipment solutions to companies to manage and optimize their water resources and process challenges across a wide variety of industries. Water processing companies support organizations that are looking to address water consumption, improve efficiency, lower costs, improve social responsibility, and explore water reuse opportunities.
Water cycle processes
The water cycle process, also called hydrologic cycle, involves the continuous circulation of water in the Earth-atmosphere system. Of the many processes involved in the water cycle, the most important are evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, and runoff. Although the total amount of water within the cycle remains typically constant, its distribution among the various processes is continually changing.
Drinking water treatment process innovations
The development and implementation of water treatment technologies have been largely driven by three factors: the discovery of new rarer contaminants, the promulgation of new water quality standards, and cost. But now we see a dramatic change in the water industry's approach to water treatment in which water utilities have started to seriously consider alternative treatment technologies to the traditional filtration/chlorination treatment approach.
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