When you hear the phrase “water treatment,” what comes to mind is probably processes through which water is purified to remove harmful substances and make it fit for drinking. Although drinking water purification is a significant example of water treatment, the process is far broader than this alone.
Water is used for a wide range of purposes, and water treatment refers to any process used to make water more suitable for some particular purpose.
Why is Water Treatment so Important?
Water is essential to life, forming a considerable part of almost every single cell in your body. Apart from this, it is necessary for many day-to-day activities like cooking and cleaning, and so much more.
However, as essential as it is to life, water can be a carrier of several toxins and harmful microbes. When these are not removed, water can be quite toxic to the human body and the environment. Below are a few examples of diseases that can be caused by untreated water:
Hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver, the largest organ in your body that is responsible for several vital functions such as detoxification of harmful substances that you consume. Two viruses that can cause hepatitis—Hepatitis A and E—are transmitted through unclean water. They cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), and can lead to life-threatening complications like liver failure.
This refers to diarrhea in which the stool is mixed with blood and mucus. The diarrhea is often accompanied by fever and severe abdominal pain. Several bacteria that can cause this kind of diarrhea are transmitted through unclean water, e.g., Entamoeba histolytica and Shigella.
There have been several cholera pandemics and outbreaks in the past that led to the death of millions. The bacteria that causes cholera – Vibrio cholera – is transmitted via unclean water. It can cause profuse diarrhea and vomiting. This can lead to severe dehydration, which can cause shock and death within hours.
4. Heavy Metal Toxicity
Apart from living microbes, water can be contaminated by heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic, which can accumulate in your body’s tissues over time and cause conditions like cancer.
How is Water Treated?
Several methods can be used to treat water. The major ones are:
This is one of the most effective methods as it can produce water that is up to 99 % pure. The water is heated to the boiling point and the steam released is collected and allowed to cool.
This refers to adding chemicals to water to destroy harmful organisms, such as bacteria and viruses.
This refers to water passage through a semi-permeable membrane that traps impurities while allowing clean water to pass through.
Apart from the methods listed above, several other water treatment methods exist. For instance, coffee seeds are used to remove heavy metals, UV water purification, reverse osmosis, sedimentation, and coagulation.
At Mora Waters Systems, we use innovative, environmentally friendly water treatment methods to turn seawater into drinkable water. There are no filters, no chemicals, no membranes, and very little energy involved in our processes, but we produce water that is up to 98% pure. Learn more about our methodology here.