There are several ways to purify water, from the old ways to the up-to-date technology. Series of studies, tests and experiments have helped us have clean water.
But how does water get cleaned? What kind of process does it have to go through before it’s purified? How many stages does it have to pass before it’s safe for us to use it? Before those questions are answered, let’s answer this simple yet complex question, what is water?
Water is a very important component of our lives and the earth. 70% of our body is composed of water. 71% of the earth is water, according to The USGS Water Science School. We have different bodies of water, from oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, and many more. Researchers even say that if global warming continues, the glaciers in the Arctic are will melt; water will envelop all the land areas.
The earth will be surrounded by water. Thus, everyone and everything will be obliterated. Let’s not forget catastrophes caused by water. When heavy rain is combined with another elemental cataclysm, then it becomes a super typhoon, tidal wave, tsunami, you name it. As tragic as they may sound, but these are all-natural disasters.
Why do we use water in our everyday lives? On some of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs interpretation, water may not be put under the physiological stage, but water is under that first stage. Let’s go to the basics – we use water for drinking, for preparing food, cooking, bathing, and washing our clothes and things. Water has been and will always be an important component of our lives.
As of 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported 842 000 deaths per year from waterborne diseases based on their www. who.int website. It’s just sad that these deaths can be prevented by having portable, clean, safe water. Especially in remote areas, where sanitation is a big concern, water is unsafe for drinking and unhygienic. This affects not just the middle-aged residents but also the children, actually, everyone in the community.
The main objective here is to produce safe and clean drinking water for everyone. Water has lots of chemical particles, ions, algae, bacteria causing parasites, nutrients; some say it includes minerals and many more. So depending on the purpose of water consumption, different methods for water purification were established.
According to Wikipedia.org, the methods are categorized according to their processes. For physical processes, we have infiltration, which is filtering or screening water of stones or any particles that can cause problems in the succeeding steps of the process.
There’s also sedimentation that uses a sedimentation basin or clarifier. It separates the floc, a term used for amorphous metal hydroxide, from the water. Another name for this is Demineralized water which was not considered as ideal drinking water.
The study says that removing minerals from the water causes digestive and urinary-related problems. Distilled water manufacturers say otherwise and that the minerals come from the food that we eat, not from water.
For the biological processes, we have the slow sand filter and rapid sand filter. This method uses sand in filtering water. The water seeps through layers of sands slowly until it safe for consumption. The rapid sand filter uses sand as well. This method uses a layer of activated carbon that removes taste and odor in water.
This is the most common type of filter because the layer the water passes through is thin that smaller elements can be filtered. So that you know, sand filters have been used in the early 1800s. It was just experimental filtering that Mr. John Gibb did in Scotland. This process was polished over the years and finally was used as the means of water supply in the United Kingdom.
Chlorination and flocculation are the two chemical processes for water purification. Coagulation and flocculation are used to add chemical components to the water to remove unwanted particles – both organic and inorganic particles.
Chlorination or Chlorine disinfection is the most common disinfection. It is harmful to both humans and germs to use this method. One best example of chlorine disinfection is the one put in pools.
Large consumption of water with chlorine but has fewer strong bad effects than pure chlorine.
When cholera was epidemic in 1854 London, water chlorination helped in the disinfection of the city. Chlorine was used to disinfect the water supply. It was John Snow that successfully used it.
Later in 1879 that William Soper used chlorinated lime to take care of typhoid patients. Because of too many outbreaks and casualties (from the outbreak), permanent water chlorination was implemented.
The age of slow sand filter has ended, and the chloride of lime helped bring a solution to the epidemic that has everyone, at that time, relaxed. Even in the age of the new world, the usage of chlorine of lime is being used.
A solution of calcium hypochlorite in a linen bag, also known as Lyster or Lister bag, is being used in the US military to purify the water while on the field.
Boiling water, though, has been the oldest way of purifying water. Even at home, this is being practiced since this is the most effective way of getting rid of micro-organisms in water. We do at home put a rubber or used cloth then encircle it to the water hose.
The best way to purify your water, however, is using the Berkey Water Filter System. At the safety of your home, you can now filter and purify drinking water to its clearest and purest state.
Berkey Water Filters can remove
- Lead - Removed to greater than 99.9%.
- Iron - Removed to greater than 99.9%.
- Mercury - Removed to greater than 99.9%.
- Chlorine - Removed to greater than 99.9%.
- Bisphenol-A - Removed to greater than 99.9%.
- Chloramines - Removed to greater than 99.9%.
- Pharmaceuticals - Removed to greater than 99.5%.
- Petroleum Contaminants - Removed to greater than 99.9%.
- Methylcyclohexane-methane - Removed to greater than 99.9%.
- Pesticides - Removed to greater than 99.9%.
- Heavy Metals - Removed to greater than 99.1%.
- Coliform and e-Coli - Removed to greater than 99.9%.