Water purification is very important and necessary. The process involves removal of harmful chemicals and other biological contaminants. The process of water filtration and purification makes it suitable for use. The tap water that is supplied is also purified. As we have whole-house or point of use systems there is need for large scale water purification systems for industrial, pharmacological, chemical applications also. The purpose is to ensure removal of particulates and suspended contaminants which may affect the process for which it is being used.
There are various methods used for large-scale water purification. When water is needed on a large-scale there may be a variety of filters and purifiers that may be used. There could be systems right from simple sand filters to mechanical filters which may involve phases like flocculation, sedimentation and filtration. Filtration can effectively reduce about 98 to 99% of contaminants and impurities. The sand bed filters are very useful as it presents a huge surface area and enables water to percolate very slowly and undergoing stages like sedimentation, adsorption, oxidation, etc.
There are rapid or mechanical large scale water purification systems as well. The steps often involved in these filters are Coagulation, rapid mixing, flocculation, sedimentation and filtration. The coagulation process is process of treating water first with coagulants like alum depending upon the turbidity of water. The next step is process of rapid mixing which ensures quick and thorough dissemination of alum through water. The next stage of flocculation is a slow and gentle stirring of treated water, usually with the help of mechanical flocculators. They rotate at a rate of around 2-4 rpm. The slow and gentle stirring causes a formation of thick precipitate of aluminum hydroxide. During sedimentation stage the coagulated water is taken to sedimentation tanks and left there for some time, maybe 2 to 6 hours. The impurities settle down and are removed from time to time without hindering the functioning of tank. The partly cleared water is then cleared using rapid sand filtration process. There are several ways of water purification when it is a matter of large-scale. Similarly there are high capacity ozone generators which can be used for large scale water purification.
Disinfection also enables removal of harmful microbes and are a part of large-scale water purification requirement. Usually disinfectants are used to ensure removal of pathogens that may have escaped through filters. Chlorination, UV radiation, Hydrogen peroxide, solar water disinfection, fluoridation, distillation, reverse osmosis may be some other methods that may be used. Chlorination is known to be the most commonly used disinfection method the world around. Now there is increasing preference towards use of hydrogen peroxide, ozonation and other methods instead of chlorination for disinfection. Chlorine has limited effectiveness against some protozoans which are effectively removed using other methods.
Need for large scale water purification arises for different purpose like supply for an entire city, town or it could be for industrial use, etc. Depending upon the type of contaminants present you may find a suitable system put in place to ensure that clean and pure water is available for any purpose.
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