The Clear Take on Water and Wastewater Today

It takes water to make drinkable water.

Often people want to know what it takes to make water drinkable. Here’s what happens when raindrops become water flowing from your faucet.

Raindrops end up in lakes, rivers and groundwater. For most of us, the water then flows from intake points to treatment plants, storage tanks and then to our houses through various pipe systems.

Here’s how an article in shows what happens:

How rain becomes drinkable water

Illustration by Annette Elizabeth Allen

  1. Coagulation and flocculation – Chemicals are added to the water. They bind with the dirt and dissolved particles, forming larger particles called floc.
  2. Sedimentation – The floc is heavy, so it settles to the bottom of the tank.
  3. Filtration – The clear water on top passes through filters composed of sand, gravel and charcoal to remove dissolved particles such as dust, parasites, bacteria, viruses and chemicals.
  4. Disinfection – Chlorine or chloramine is added to kill parasites, bacteria, viruses and germs. Fluoride is added to prevent tooth decay.

Various other chemicals can be added to adjust for hardness and pH levels or to prevent corrosion, based on the water source. But depending on where you are in the United States, there can be different challenges and corresponding methods of treating drinking water.

Agricultural states often have to treat for high levels of nitrate.  Nitrate runoff in rivers and groundwater can be common in places with high levels of farming activities. Fertilizers, manure storage and septic systems are sources of this pollution.

We talk about treating nitrates with reverse osmosis in this article on our site.

We are happy to provide more information on how we treat the water in your community. Contact Chris McMillen today.