Water is an essential utility and resource, both for public and private use, and as such, a lot of infrastructure, services, and jobs are related to gathering, filtering, and transporting water, whether to private homes or for public fountains or pools or the utilities of a commercial building. Dirty water treatment is a major industry that has many facilities and building sites dedicated to it, anything from environmental equipment rentals to groundwater remediation technology and the work of water treatment companies so that safe drinking water can be had for anyone. In what ways can dirty water treatment transform polluted or used water into a clean product for drinking, washing, and recreation?
The Industry and Water
Of all water on Earth, only 3% is fresh water, or salt-free water, that is fit for human use. And among all fresh water resources, ground water makes up 95% of it for the United States, and it provides half the drinking water for the American population. However, water can and will get dirty, either through use or pollution, and this water is not only useless for society but can be a health hazard. Chemical spills are one way that water may become contaminated; every year, about 16,000 chemical spills occur, from such thing as trucks, trains, and storage tanks, and this most often happens when materials are being transferred or transported. And it has been determined that about 80% of the most serious hazardous waste sites in the United States have harmed the ground water quality nearby, which can threaten drinking and washing water for many people. Worse, it is believed that about 70% of all industrial waste is dumped into bodies of water, and these pollutants can often make their way into nearby sources of water meant for drinking and commercial use, further jeopardizing water needs. The good news is that dirty water treatments exist to restore water into a usable state, and for the sake of wildlife preservation, too.
Dirty Water Treatment Methods
To get clean water, some methods exist to purify water and filter out contaminants and pollution, as explained at the CDC. Community water treatment, for example, follows a simple procedure. First, chemicals are added into the water that have a positive charge, and these chemicals will counteract the negative charge of dirt particles and other contaminants, and the particles bind with the chemicals to form a substance called floc. Next, floc will settle to the bottom of the water during the sedimentation process, clearing out a lot of the dirt in water. Filtration is next, where water flows out of the sedimentation tanks and go through filters made from sand, gravel, charcoal, and other substances with very small pore sizes, so dissolved particles still in the water will get filtered out. Dust, parasites, chemicals, bacteria, and viruses may be filtered out at this stage, but not completely. Finally, during the disinfection stage, chemicals such as chlorine will kill off any remaining bacteria, viruses, or microscopic parasites before the water is channeled to homes and public buildings. Ground water will not need as much filtration as surface water will, since surface water is exposed to many more pollutants, and sometimes, fluoride will be added to water to improve the health of local citizens. Fluoride is good for teeth, and is usually found in toothpaste.
Some of these water filtration systems will be in place for private homes, scaled down. Distillation systems are an extra option here, where water is boiled and condensed back into liquid form elsewhere, which removed solid contaminants. Hard water, or water with a lot of calcium or magnesium in it, can be treated with filtration systems that use ions and charged beads to remove these atoms from the water and scrub it all out, preventing the ill effects of hard water such as spots on dishes, stiffness in washed clothes, and irritated scalp and hair from people who bathed or showered in it. Even faucet taps can have simple filtration devices affixed to them to filtrate water before it is drunk. Dirty water treatment, in short, takes many different forms but ultimately has the same goal.