Have you ever wondered what happened to water before it reaches you and becomes available for you to drink? Surprisingly, the details can be very complex even if we’re drinking water every day (a simple and common experience).
Behind the scenes, there are several processes that take place before the water becomes potable. They’re always happening day and night while we’re working or studying. In the background, everything happens in sync even without our attention.
To satisfy your curiosity and “quench your thirst” for knowledge, here’s a quick overview of the processes in making water potable:
It starts with making the water presentable. First, remove the visible impurities using effective filters.
If the water is turbid and there are visible solid particles, it’s far from being potable. Aside from its unpleasant appearance, those impurities can also cause harm to human health. It’s beyond aesthetics. It’s also about safety.
There could be a few steps or processes before filtration is considered complete. Water may pass through several stages before most of the impurities are removed. At the end, the water may become clear and seem good enough for drinking already.
This is crucial. One main reason is that microorganisms can cause immediate harm to human health. Within hours, the effects could be apparent or even fatal. It can be worse than chemical contamination because chemicals in the water might only produce harm in the long term (for years or decades).
That’s why many water utilities still use chlorine for the disinfection of water supplies. The dangers and risks carried by bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms are often given more attention. For example, the presence of E. coli in drinking water is a serious threat. Its presence alone could mean that there are other harmful microorganisms in the water.
How do microorganisms get into the water in the first place? Maybe the water is already clean and safe. However, where it came out might be the problem. Maybe the water outlet is unsanitary. That might be the case in some drinking water fountains (in schools, workplaces, and public areas). They’re out in the open and these are exposed to air and humans.
Good thing is there are nozzles that are antibacterial. This is an added layer of safety for anyone using a drinking fountain and for refill dispensers. You can be sure that it’s safe and clean. This is important in schools and workplaces where everyone drinks water regularly.
Now we’ve mentioned a quick overview of the water purification process. Each step is critical and contributes to making water potable and safe. One thing to remember here is that each step can present a risk. That’s why the last step is given a priority (where and how the water comes out). This way, the water is kept safe and most of the microorganisms will be eliminated.