The Importance of Water Treatment

Water is a fundamental resource for life and various industrial processes. However, it is often not in a state that is suitable for use. Water from natural sources can be contaminated with bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, minerals, and man-made pollutants that can pose serious health risks if consumed without treatment. Hence, water treatment is essential to eliminate these contaminants and make water safe for consumption and other uses.

The Process of Water Treatment

Water treatment process involves several stages to ensure the water is free from harmful substances and meets the required standards. The process generally includes:

– Coagulation/Flocculation: Chemicals with a positive charge are added to water to neutralize the negative charges of dirt and other dissolved particles in the water. These particles bind with the chemicals to form larger particles called floc.
– Sedimentation: The floc settles to the bottom of the water supply due to its weight. This settling process is called sedimentation.
– Filtration: The clear water on top then passes through different sizes of filters composed of sand, gravel, and charcoal to remove dissolved particles, such as dust, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals.
– Disinfection: After filtration, a disinfectant, such as chlorine, may be added to kill any remaining bacteria or viruses, and to protect the water from germs when it is piped to homes and businesses.

Types of Water Treatment

There are several types of water treatment, including physical, chemical, and biological methods. The type of treatment used depends on the water source and the intended use of the water. For example, physical treatment methods, such as settling and filtration, are typically used to prepare water for drinking. Chemical treatment, on the other hand, may be used to treat water for industrial purposes.


Water treatment plays a vital role in ensuring the safety and quality of water for various uses. Through various processes, harmful contaminants are removed to make the water safe for drinking, industrial use, and even safe return to the environment. The type of treatment required largely depends on the source of the water and its intended use.