Perhaps if there is something that people remember from their chemistry class, it is that water is H2O. While it might be true, the water that people consume every day is composed of more than just two hydrogen components and one oxygen.
The ones that people drink every day have other added minerals, as well as components removed. This is because of water, in its freshest form, is not something that is fully safe for human consumption.
Making it safe for consumption
Therefore, water treatment plants exist to make water safe to consume. But there is so much more to water treatments than just passing through filters. It also undergoes regular cleaning through filter presses, clarifier parts, tanks, and other filtration systems.
Below are some methods on how potable water goes through treatment to make its safe for everyday use.
Coagulation and Flocculation
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, coagulation and flocculation are often the first steps of water treatment. Positively charged chemicals are included in the water to neutralize negatively charged dirt and other dissolved particles in the water.
Then a floc forms, a combination of particles that bind together from the chemicals to form larger particles.
The settling of floc in the bottom due to its weight is sedimentation. Flocs collected at the bottom of the basin are sludge and undergo distribution into drying lagoons.
Water passes through a filter usually made of gravel and sand (and sometimes crushed anthracite). Passing through the filter would remove dissolved particles such as dust, parasites, and bacteria among others.
Lastly, water goes through disinfection by adding chlorine or other chemicals, to remove any remaining particles and to protect it while distributed to different parts of the community.
Water goes through a lot of processes just to be safe for consumption. Do not waste and use it as wisely as possible.