The Importance of Water Treatment Processes

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Water has been one of the essential factors in the development of human settlements. Especially with the increasing population of human and industry, the demands for the quantity of water are also increasing (Binnie et al., 2002). This has become a serious concerned as the high quality of water supply has been very limited due to the contamination of water with municipal, agricultural and industrial waste that has lead to a decreasing water quality. This lead to a water treatment process as public has become more aware on the water quality and it effects to health. Indeed, the water sources used for applying water were not always clean thus it need to be treated to improve smell, taste, clarity, or to remove disease-causing pathogens that can present in the water before it being treated treated. As mention by Smethurst (1988), there are four important steps in the water treatment process before the water sources is been distributed to the consumer namely, coagulation, sedimentation, filtration and lastly disinfection ( refer to Figure 1 in Appendix 1).

The first step of water treatment process is the coagulation process of water. Hendricks (2011), defined coagulation as the reaction between a chemical and particles to form microfloc. During the process of coagulation occur, the coagulant is added to the untreated water. The function of coagulant is to remove the unwanted substance and dirt in the water by sticking it together to form a floc (Smethurst, 1997). Generally, a liquid aluminium sulfate or known as alum is used as a coagulant because of their ability to form multi charged polynuclear complexes with enhanced adsorption characteristic (Miller, 2010). Other than that, pH of the system also affects the coagulation of the ...

... middle of paper ... are highly resistant to traditional disinfection practices. Moreover, disinfectants themselves can react with the naturally-occuring materials in the water to form byproducts, such as trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, which can be harmful to human health. Thus, while provide protection from pathogen and microbial, this stage also minimizing the population from disinfection byproduct to reduce the health risks. So, the disinfection byproducts have their own regulation control that requires water systems to use treatment methods to reduce the formation of disinfection byproducts and to meet their own standards requirements so that the water is safe from waterborne pathogens and the potential harmful effects of disinfection byproducts. This is how the water had been treated and it is distributed to human settlements and industrial area for further usage.
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