Water sources worldwide come from rivers, lakes, springs, dams, reservoirs, and ponds. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States, there are 146,018 public water systems in 2019. The country considers its drinking water supply as the safest in the world, reported by CDCP (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention). Untreated drinking water can contain harmful contaminants, including Hepatitis A, e-coli, Giardia intestinalis, and other water-born germs. Contaminated water causes various diseases and can be detrimental to the health of the public.
Why do we need water supply systems? Every human being needs safe water to bathe and consume. It is a necessity to live and for our overall health. Municipals and households use water treatment systems for purification to ensure its safety for consumption.
The Processing Steps of Treating Water
Most water processing plants use coagulation and flocculation treatments using positive charged chemicals to neutralize dirt and other particles. It works by combining the particles with added chemicals to form floc.
The sedimentation process helps the floc settles to the bottom of the water supply.
The filtration step happens by filtering the clear water on the top to remove particles of dust, viruses, chemicals, bacteria, and parasites.
The water goes through a disinfection process using chlorine or chloramine to destroy remaining parasites, viruses, and bacteria. The water supply then is safe to consume in businesses and homes.
Household water treatment systems are available in most retailers. Some people use them in addition to already treated municipal water supply. The most common types include distillation, disinfection, filtration, and water softeners. The main purpose for water treatment is to preserve the health of human beings and animals.
The EPA has researchers developing new technologies to improve small water systems in the US. Of the 146,018 water systems, 141,603 of them are using outdated treatment and distribution systems infrastructure. The agency is considering significant factors, including climate change, the impact of agricultural runoffs, harmful algal blooms, and industrial companies. Researchers have concerns with increased detection of pesticides, algal toxins, and pharmaceuticals in drinking water after treatments.
New Water Treatment Technologies
- UV Treatment
Some municipal water supply plants are switching from chlorine to monochloramine as their main disinfectant. Ultra violet treatment is a purification method using an e-boiling system. The technique kills bacteria and harmful substances in water using an ultraviolet light. Nanotechnology uses titanium oxide to eliminate toxins by breaking unrefined compounds down using ultraviolet rays. It reduces microorganism buildup. Merus can help you decide what you need in your water treatment big or small.
The US Department of Energy recently approved funding of over $4 million to perform research and development of treatment technologies. The National Energy Technology Laboratory is managing three projects for commercialization to reduce water waste and increase water supplies for reuse. The projects comprise Electrolytic Coagulation and Disinfection, Nano-structured Membranes, and New Membranes.
Electrolytic Coagulation & Disinfection treats the flow-back and production of water for reuse. The method is new using ferric ion coagulant and disinfected.
Nano-structured Membranes is a method called electro spinning and spraying. A two-stage process is under development for cleaning water for reuse. It removes compounds and oil from water production. Municipals water supply facilities can incorporate the processes into their existing water systems.
New Membrane is a water treatment system using filtration. It removes organic compounds from produced water supply.
The new technologies are being tested, developed, and introduced into the market of municipal water treatment. People need water treatment plants to eliminate bacteria, viruses, dust, and harmful agents. Unsafe water causes illnesses and diseases to humans, livestock, and pets.