Have you ever wondered why the water from your tap is drinkable? In other countries, drinking out of the tap is unthinkable. In a nutshell, water treatment in the US makes this possible. Water treatment is the process to make water acceptable for use. There are different uses for water, and therefore different types of treatment. All water treatment removes contaminants and/ or reduces the existing concentration of contaminants, depending on whether its drinking water, medical usage water, industry usage water, etc.
The process for drinking water includes a combination of the following:
- Pre-chlorination- controls algae or any biological growth
- Aeration- removes any dissolved iron and manganese
- Coagulation- serves for flocculation
- Polyelectrolytes- improves coagulation
- Sedimentation- separates solids
- Filtration– Removes particles from water
- Desalination – Removes salt from water
- Disinfection- Kills bacteria
There is no standard way of treating water. Typically, groundwater (or water from lakes, rivers, and streams) requires less treatment. Each solution is unique. Many public or private water utilities will use a variety of methods listed above. Some private companies have their own, modern technology of treating water.
Since Mexico fails to treat its water, drinking from the tap will cause digestive problems to almost all Americans. Their water still carries parasites and raw sewage that normally are removed in the water treatment process. For this reason, most hotels will provide bottled water to avoid consumption of sink water.
India has a similar problem. However, a recent study found that water in India carries parasites and other bugs resistant to all medicine. This is particularly alarming when nearly 30 million people visit and leave the country each year. Exposure to these types of parasites and transporting them to other parts of the world creates a great concern.
Luckily, growing populations in countries like the US and Japan are creating a stronger need for better water treatment technology. On top of it all, there is a need to realize this at an affordable cost without losing quality. Underdeveloped countries in dire need of safe drinking water can only benefit from these new technological processes.
Despite all these efforts, nearly a billion people in the world still lack drinkable water. Sadly, 780 million people are unable to access improved water sources. Millions of people die each year because of poor water quality available to them. Since children are more likely to die from dehydration than adults, most these victims are children.
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