When you open your tap in the kitchen or bathroom to pour yourself a tall glass of water to drink, don’t you often wonder what is in the water, and which path it followed to get to your tap. The same can be said about bottled water, where did the water come from and what chemicals or contaminants are in the water. We all know our main source of water comes from dams and reservoirs strategically situated in encashment areas. From there it follows a network of pipes and water purification plants to get to your home for consumption. During this journey, the water is exposed to various factors of contamination.
There are a vast amount of methods and technologies used today to purify water, which makes it suitable to drink, cook with, and bathe in. Or is it?? We are specifically going to have a look at some technologies and methods used for domestic water purification.
Water purification is the process of removing contaminants from the water. The purpose is to remove sand, parasites, giardia, bacteria, algae, virus, fungi, etc. Let us look at a few methods of water purification.
The solid particles within the water are separated or removed by passing the water through a membrane that retains most of the solids or contaminants. This membrane is housed within an assembly, and is called a filter. Unfortunately this method is not perfect. It becomes more costly to obtain better results.
To kill bacteria, water must be heated long enough and hot enough. At see level to get water to boil vigorously is not a problem; therefore a minute or two will be sufficient. However, the higher the altitude, the more difficult to get water to boil, and the longer the process takes. This process also does not remove all the solutes from the water.
Reverse osmosis is a water purification technology used, by where the water is forced through a membrane by means of high pressure, resulting in the unwanted substances to remain on the one side of the membrane, and the purified water to pass through to the other side of the membrane. The membrane used is of high density, and only allows water through. Although this seems like a good system, as it does a pretty good job of removing all the contaminants, the problem is that it also removes the good minerals.