One of the best ways to improve the quality of water is to put it through the purification process. This is a more intensive version of cleaning up the water than distillation, and it can take care of problems like hardness in the water as well. Water is purified in order to make it clean enough for certain purposes, and the most common of these is human consumption. However, purified water might also be used for recreation, industrial and agricultural purposes, medical uses, pharmacological work, and much more. There are a multitude of ways to purify water and we'll always find ways to consume it as well.
Water purification removes sediments, bacteria, parasites, gasses and some chemicals from water. However, even this process isn’t always enough to remove every impurity from drinking water. This is the method used by most municipal water treatment facilities, but when water pollution incidents occur, it’s very hard to completely purify water. This is why it’s crucial to have your own filtration options available at home and to always listen to boil water advisories if you have any issued for your area.
Filtration – Most water treatment facilities use activated carbon and sand filters to purify water. These two types of filtration can help catch the highest number of bacteria as well as the most dissolved sediment. Many facilities filter the water more than once before the treatment process is finished.
Sedimentation – This is the process by which water is allowed to settle so that any solids present in it can be removed. Most solids, like sand, dirt, and rocks, will settle to the bottom of any given source of water if given enough time to do so. From there, they can be very easily removed.
Distillation – Through the distillation process, water is heated to boiling and allowed to condense. The condensation is collected, leaving behind any impurities that might have boiled out of the water.
Chlorination – When water is chlorinated, that means chlorine is added to it in small amounts to prevent algal growth. There is chlorine in almost all drinking water, but it’s used even more frequently in water for recreational use, such as swimming pools.
Radiation – It might sound counterproductive to use radiation on water, but with the right processes, it can kill microorganisms that cause waterborne diseases. This process can also keep water from molding.
Regular testing – Perhaps the most important step in water purification is regular testing. When water isn’t tested, problems arise. With frequent testing of drinking water sources, the buildup of contaminants can be caught as soon as they happen, and any pollution incidents will not go unnoticed.
When these steps are performed together, water is safe enough to drink based on the standards outlined by the United States government. While it’s possible to filter and distil water in your own home, it’s impossible to completely purify it without the help of municipal water treatment facilities. However, in many instances, filtering water that has already been treated at these facilities can provide you with very pure, very clean drinking water.