Water Treatment, Distribution and Reclamation
Ever wonder how water is treated and distributed?
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Water is acquired from ground water via wells or surface water sources and then processed in our state-of-the-art treatment facilities. The entire process is continuously monitored and analyzed by skilled technicians who perform chemical and biological tests to ensure consistent high quality and regulatory compliance. The fresh, clean water is then ready to be delivered to homes and businesses for consumption.
In the plant, the water is disinfected through a chlorination process to ensure the water is microbiologically safe (free from bacteria, viruses, and protozoan parasites). If needed, the water is properly filtered to remove other particles from the water, such as natural organic matter, iron and manganese, and clays and silt. It is important to note that all drinking water contains some naturally occurring contaminants that are not harmful to our health. In fact, some minerals provide low levels of nutritional value and actually improve the taste of drinking water.
Treatment of Ground Water
Much of the water we supply to our customers comes from ground water sources. Because most ground water comes from aquifers—underground layers of porous rocks—the water is often of a higher quality than surface water which is more susceptible to contamination. Therefore, treating ground water is a more straightforward process.
Treatment of Surface Water
Because surface water is more vulnerable to pollution, it requires a more complex treatment process. In the plant, the water is aerated to release any volatile gases. Next, coagulating agents clump small particles together that are then settled out of the water. During the sedimentation process, remaining particles are filtered to the bottom of a mazelike settling tank. The water is then sent through long tanks with filters made of gravel, sand, or granulated activated carbon to remove additional particles and bacteria. Finally, chlorination or other disinfectants kill any remaining microbes.
Treatment of Reclaimed Water
Reclaimed water is wastewater that has been treated to create a clean, clear, and safe product that meets strict federal and state water quality standards. When potentially harmful industrial, agricultural, and domestic contaminants are removed from wastewater, the wastewater can then be returned to the environment or recycled.
The purification process involves a high level of disinfection with the addition of chlorine, ammonia, lime, and other chemicals (and in some cases ultraviolet light treatment) to clarify and disinfect the wastewater. Technicians also treat the solids that are removed from the wastewater, and clean tanks, basins, and filter beds to maintain operational excellence.
Although reclaimed water is safe and reliable, it is not used directly for drinking water in the United States. Reclaimed water is an excellent choice for use in irrigating public parks, landscaping, and agriculture. It is also used for industrial cooling, and construction activities. In addition to providing reuse water for golf courses and car washes, the water reclaimed has also fit several residential developments with reuse facilities for irrigation needs.
A Look Inside a Typical Wastewater Treatment Process
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