Products / Water and Wastewater Treatment
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Water Treatment Systems

  • Drinking water, like every other substance, contains small amounts of bacteria. Most of these bacteria are common ones and they are generally not harmful.
  • Chlorine is usually added to drinking water to prevent bacterial growth while the water streams through pipelines. This is why drinking water also contains minimal amounts of chlorine.
  • Water mostly consists of minerals and other inorganic compounds, such as calcium. If you want to find out what substances your tap water consists of and whether it is totally safe to drink you can have a specialized agency check it out for you.
  • Treating water to make it suitable to drink is much like wastewater treatment. In areas that depend on surface water it is usually stored in a reservoir for several days, in order to improve clarity and taste by allowing more oxygen from the air to dissolve in it and allowing suspended matter to settle out. The water is then pumped to a purification plant through pipelines, where it is treated, so that is will meet government treatment standards.
  • Usually the water runs through sand filters first and sometimes through activated charcoal, before it is disinfected. Disinfection can be done by bacteria or by means of adding substances to remove contaminants from the water.
  • The number of purification steps that are taken depend on the quality of the water that enters the purification plant. In areas with very pure sources of groundwater little treatment is needed.
There are several problems that can endanger the quality of drinking water.
  • Someone can detect coliform bacteria in drinking water. Coliform bacteria are a group of microrganisms that are normally found in the intestinal tract of humans and other warm-blooded animals, and in surface water. When these organisms are detected in drinking water this suggests contamination from a subsurface source such as barnyard run-off. The presence of these bacteria indicates that disease-causing microrganisms, known as pathogens, may enter the drinking water supply in the same way if one does not take preventive action. Drinking water should be free from coliform.
  • Yeasts and viruses can also endanger the quality of drinking water. They are microbial contaminants that are usually found in surface water. Examples are Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Giardia is a single cell organism that causes gastrointestinal symptoms. Cryptosporidium is a parasite that is considered to be one of the most significant causes of diarrhoeal disease in humans. In individuals with a normal immune system the disease lasts for several days causing diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach cramps and fever. People with weakened immune systems can suffer from far worse symptoms, caused by cryptosporidium, such as cholera-like illnesses.
  • Nitrate in drinking water can cause cyanosis, a reduction of the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. This is particularly dangerous to infants under six months of age.
  • Lead can enter the water supply as it leaches from copper pipelines. As the water streams through the pipes, small amounts of lead will dissolve in the water, so that it becomes contaminated. Lead is a toxic substance that can be quickly absorbed in the human systems, particularly those of small children. It causes lead poisoning.
  • Legionella is a bacterium that grows rapidly when water is maintained at a temperature between 30 and 40 degrees for a longer period of time. This bacterium can be inhaled when water evaporates as it enters the human body with aerosols. The bacteria can cause a sort of flue, known as Pontiac fever, but it can also cause the more serious deathly illness known as legionellosis.
The standards are called maximum contaminant levels. They are formulated for any contaminant that may have adverse effects on human health and each company that prepares drinking water has to follow them up. If water will be purified to make it suitable to drink it will be tested for a number of dangerous pollutants, in order to establish the present concentrations. After that, one can determine how much of the contaminants have to be removed and if necessary purification steps can be progressed.
Water quality is determined by the presence and quantity of contaminants, by physical/ chemical factors such as pH and conductivity, by the number of salts present and by the presence of nutrients. Humans largely influence all these factors, as they discharge their waste in water and add all kinds of substances and contaminants to water that are not naturally present.
Salt water is water that contains a certain amount of salts. This means that its conductivity is higher and its taste much saltier when one drinks it.
  • Salt water is not suited to be used as drinking water, because salt drains water from human bodies. When humans drink salt water they risk dehydration. If we want to drink seawater, it needs to be desalinated first. Salt water can be found everywhere on the surface of the earth, in the oceans, in rivers and in saltwater ponds. About 71% of the earth is covered with salt water.
  • Freshwater is water with a dissolved salt concentration of less than 1%. There are two kinds of freshwater reservoirs: standing bodies of freshwater, such as lakes, ponds and inland wetlands and floating bodies of freshwater, such as streams and rivers. These bodies of water cover only a small part of the earth's surface, and their locations are unrelated to climate.
  • Only about 1% of the earth's surface is covered with freshwater, whereas 41% of all known fish species live in this water. Fresh water zones are usually closely connected to land; therefore they are often threatened by a constant input of organic matter, inorganic nutrients and pollutants.
Water purification generally means freeing water from any kind of impurity it contains, such as contaminants or micro organisms.
Water purification is not a very one-sided process; the purification process contains many steps. The steps that need to be progressed depend on the kind of impurities that are found in the water. This can differ very much for different types of water.
hen bacteria are used for water purification there are two sorts of transfer; one of these is aerobic transfer. This means, that bacteria that are oxygen dependent are converting the contaminants in the water. Aerobic bacteria can only convert compounds when plenty of oxygen is present, because they need it to perform any kind of chemical conversion. Usually the products they convert the contaminants to are carbon dioxide and water.
When bacteria are used for water purification there are two sorts of conversion; one of these is anaerobic transfer. This means, that bacteria that are not oxygen dependent are converting the contaminants in the water.
Anaerobic bacteria can only convert when oxygen levels are low, because they use other sorts of substances to perform chemical conversion. Anaerobic bacteria do not just develop carbon dioxide and water during conversion, but also methane gas. This can be used to keep the machinery that supports the purification going. The anaerobic conversion of a substance requires more steps than aerobic conversion, but the final result is often less satisfactory. After anaerobic conversion usually aerobic bacteria (bacteria that do use oxygen) still need to finish the process, because the water is not clean enough yet.
When water is referred to as 'hard' this simply means, that it contains more minerals than ordinary water. These are especially the minerals calcium and magnesium. The degree of hardness of the water increases, when more calcium and magnesium dissolves.
Magnesium and calcium are positively charged ions. Because of their presence, other positively charged ions will dissolve less easily in hard water than in water that does not contain calcium and magnesium.
  • For many uses, hard water does not cause any problems. Hard water is not damaging to your health either.
  • In the domestic environment hard water is not very efficient for certain uses: for bathing, washing dishes and clothes, shaving, washing a car, etc.
  • There are a number of negative effects to hard water, for instance: soap does not mix with hard water very well, when hard water is heated the hardness minerals can plug the pipes and hardness minerals often interfere with industrial processes. That is why hard water is often softened.
  • Water softeners are specific ion exchangers that are designed to remove ions, which are positively charged.
  • Softeners mainly remove calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) ions. Calcium and magnesium are often referred to as 'hardness minerals'.
  • Softeners are sometimes even applied to remove iron. The softening devices are able to remove up to five milligrams per litre (5 mg/L) of dissolved iron.
  • Softeners can operate automatic, semi-automatic, or manual. Each type is rated on the amount of hardness it can remove before regeneration is necessary.
  • A water softener collects hardness minerals within its conditioning tank and from time to time flushes them away to drain. Ion exchangers are often used for water softening. When an ion exchanger is applied for water softening, it will replace the calcium and magnesium ions in the water with other ions, for instance sodium or potassium. The exchanger ions are added to the ion exchanger reservoir as sodium and potassium salts (NaCl and KCl).
Softened water still contains all the natural minerals that we need. It is only deprived off its calcium and magnesium contents, and some sodium is added during the softening process. That is why in most cases, softened water is perfectly safe to drink. It is advisable that softened water contains only up to 300mg/L of sodium.
In areas with very high hardness the softened water must not be used for the preparation of baby-milk, due to the high sodium contant after the softening process has been carried out.
Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water purification technology that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove ions, molecules, and larger particles from drinking water.
While reverse osmosis water filters will reduce a pretty wide spectrum of contaminants such as dissolved salts, Lead, Mercury, Calcium, Iron, Asbestos and Cysts, it will not remove some pesticides, solvents and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) including: Ions and metals such as Chlorine and Radon.
It's basically tap water without the chlorine. It's really not much different than many spring waters.
It comes from a “natural” source, goes through minimal filtration, and is then bottled and shipped to market.

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