A Brief Guide to Water Treatment Many people take clean water for granted. They quickly forget that over three and a half million people worldwide die each year from the effects of using unclean water. The water treatment process for such people is either non-existent or ineffective. This means that they have to use the water that is available to them even if it means risking their lives. Other people will use contaminated water completely oblivious to its danger. They never realize the extent of water contamination until their health starts to deteriorate. This is why you should be aware of your water treatment process. It will help you to understand why certain steps are necessary and to ask questions when these steps are not carried through. Here is a brief guide to water treatment. - Screening Water for Debris Flowing water has a tremendous amount of force. It carries with it a lot of debris such as stones, plant material, pieces of metal and small organisms. Water that has this kind of debris is not suitable for human consumption because it might interfere with your digestive system and/or other physiological functions in your body. This debris may also damage some of the equipment used to treat water. Therefore, screening is of outmost importance when it comes to water treatment. It involves the use of a large screen to filter out the debris from the water. - Coagulating Dirt Dirty water has an unpleasant taste and it is a haven for germs to live and multiply. This is why removing dirt from water is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, a simple screen cannot remove dirt. This is because dirt particles are too small for the screen to filter out and they easily dissolve in water making it more difficult for the screen to remove them. This makes a coagulation process necessary. The process involves an addition of alum into the screened water. Alum causes dirt to coagulate around it. The resulting product becomes heavy and sinks to the bottom. This allows the water at the top to escape to the next treatment phase free of any dirt. - Sedimentation and Filtration Gravity is one of the most powerful forces known to man and it works everywhere around us. Water treatment is not an exception when it comes to this powerful force. Here, gravity removes small sediments that may escape the first two steps of water treatment. These sediments sink to the bottom of the tank through the pull of gravity. The water then goes through a filtration process. In the filtration process, the water passes through various materials such as sand, gravel and charcoal that filter out any minute particles left in the water. The final step in water treatment is water disinfection.