The nature of many water authorities is that they work with serious budget and staff constraints that often make monitoring and identification of problems difficult. That in turn makes response and solution of problems economically and politically difficult
The Stages of Water Treatment
Pre-Treatment: Water enters the system. Depending upon the source, dirt or sand may be removed from the water. If subject to algae growth, some chemicals may be needed.
Coagulation: Chemicals are added so that smaller suspended particles clump together and fall to the bottom of a settling tank. That coagulated junk is called floc. The water has to settle for a longer time in this step than in the pre-treatment stage.
Clarification or Sedimentation: Water slowly flows through the next step. This results in sludge at the bottom of the basin. That material will be removed and then disposed.
Softening or Stabilization: Minerals such as magnesium and calcium need removed from the water to avoid damage to the municipal system and residential pipes and fixtures.
Filtration: This is the step where the suspended materials are removed. The remaining products can make the water look cloudy. Cloudy appearance is referred to as “turbidity”. These small particles can include microorganisms, protozoa cysts, algae, silt, iron and other organic and mineral products. Yummy! Sand, gravel, garnet or similar materials are used for this step.
Fluoridation and disinfection: This is the important last step before water is pumped to a holding tank. The most common disinfectants are chlorine based chemicals.
Water is the pumped up to the holding tank: Water pressure is the result of gravity. The difference in elevation between the level of water in the tank and the open spigot in your home determines the pressure of the water. The pressure is ½ PSI for every foot of difference in that height.
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The CDC (Center for Disease Control) tells us that the presence of contaminants in water can lead to adverse health effects. These illnesses include gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders. They further say that infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people whose immune systems are compromised because of AIDS, chemotherapy, or transplant medications, may be especially susceptible to illness from some contaminants.
The CDC Top 10 List of Diseases Caused by Outbreaks in Public Water Systems*
E. coli, excess fluoride (tie)