We need pure and clean water to survive. Our naked eyes cannot see the various contaminants in the forms of germs, bacteria, and other micro-level things that pollute our drinking water. Apart from that, not all the times you are blessed with pure and clean water to consume. One can bear severe consequences of drinking contaminated and unpurified water. Therefore, one must acquire the basic understanding of water purification processes.
Undoubtedly, you must drink pure and clean water to survive and maintain your healthy state. For the purpose, you must know the different methods that can be prove to be helpful in purifying your water. Furthermore, there is always a constant possibility of water sources contamination by different disasters and global calamities. Therefore, in order to cope up with such unanticipated circumstances, it is of substantial importance to have the basic knowledge of water purification methods.
There are numerous methods to purify water and remove harmful germs and other impurities. They are discussed as follows:
1. Boil the Water
Boiling is the most common, cheapest and safest way to purify your water. All you need to do is to boil your water for a while. It is also advised to cover the boiled water. Depending on the source of water, you are required to implement your filtering method accordingly. Boil your water for few minutes and then let it cool down. Five to ten minutes boiling is good enough for your water to get purified. However, the more you boil your water, the purer it becomes.
In the remote areas, water sources are mostly flowing rivers and wells. Flowing rivers themselves act as a filtering channel for their water. However, the water drawn from wells, you are supposed to let the impurities settle down and then filter the clean water out of it.
Since boiling your water, evolves oxygen from it that results in flat taste upon drinking. However, you can easily rectify this slight drawback of the boiling method simply by shaking the boiled water for a while.
2. Filtration of Water
In this method, different physical and chemical processes are used to filter water using various appropriate commercial filters. Filtration is quite effective in purification of water, removing all the unwanted elements and impurities. It purifies the water through chemical absorption process eliminating the harmful contaminants that can otherwise cause serious diseases.
This method is also favorable as compared with other methods because it does not diminish the necessary mineral values of water. Moreover, the method is one of the cheapest method. It does not require a lot of energy that is needed in other methods like distillation and reverse osmosis. Economically, filtration is suitable method for water purification because less amount of water lost during the purification.
Apart from that, some of the porous materials like cotton cloth and other coffee filters may also be used to purify drinking water. However, the efficiency level is not satisfactory because it cannot remove all the unwanted elements and contaminants from the water to make it safe for drinking.
In filtration processes for water purification, different kinds of filters can be used. Some of them are as given as follows:
Sediment filters are the most common and one of the simplest filters in water purification systems at homes. They can effectively eliminate the sediments from water such as rust, heavy metal particles and other suspended compounds in water.
Granular Activated Carbon
They are the carbon filters that effectively remove the contaminants from water. The purifying role is played by the activated carbons in the filters that ultimately eliminate the harmful substances from the water. They are also efficient in eliminating bad odors from the water which otherwise retain very unpleasant smell.
However, there is a drawback connected with these filters. It cannot effectively remove the organic substances that are already dissolved in the water.
UV Water Filters
They are one of the best filters to purify water and remove all the contaminants and pathogenic bacteria effectively. Without affecting the natural characteristics of water, UV water filters can easily eliminate 99% microorganisms and contaminants from the water effectively. It does not change the natural taste and odor of the water.
These filters are highly recommended to those areas where the risk of pathogens and other disease causing parasites is high.
Portable Water Filters
For the sake of convenience, water filters are also available in portable form. They are designed for outdoor excursions such as camping, hiking and travelling. These portable water filters can easily be carried and are not expensive.
3. Distillation Process
In distillation process, the water vapors are collected by heating and then converted to liquid by condenser. It is a simple process that allows the water to evolve in the form of vapors once heat is provided, leaving behind the impurities and other contaminants. It is possible because of the lower boiling point of water than other impurities.
In this process, heat is supplied until the water reaches its boiling point. The heat source is maintained until the water starts evaporation. These water vapors are then collected in a condenser where they regain the shape of liquid. All the impurities are left behind because of their higher boiling point. Hence the contaminants in the water are left behind in the form of sediments.
Impurities and other contaminants that include germs, bacteria, lead, mercury, arsenic, and other heavy metals are most likely to be removed in this process effectively. This process is favorable for the people who have access to raw and unprocessed water.
On a large scale, the process is quite costly because of greater amount of heat source. In addition to that the process is also slow for large industrial or commercial scale purification. It is better for purification of small amount of water costing less heat.
4. Chlorination Process
In this process, water is disinfected through the treatment of chlorine. It can effectively purify water removing other harmful contaminants. It is used in the form of Chlorine tablet or liquid to disinfect the water. For many years, chlorine treatment is used for water at homes too. At municipal level, the chlorine treatment is widely used to purify the drinking water for a whole city population.
The process is economically advantageous as it is inexpensive. The chlorine tablets are compact and can easily kill germs, bacteria and other viruses in the water effectively. While using Chlorine tablets you are advised to dissolve it in heated water. These chlorine tablets can be better dissolved in the water at 21 Celsius or higher temperature. These chlorine tablets are available in different sizes. The size of each Chlorine tablet is particularized for a specific amount of water. The treatment of these tablets ranges from 1 liter to 2500 liters. However, the people having thyroid issues must consult their medical practitioner before using this chlorination process for the purification of drinking water.
5. Reverse Osmosis
Reverse osmosis is a water filtering process in which water is passed through a membrane of semi-permeable nature eliminating the impurities. In reverse osmosis process, water contaminated with germs, bacteria, viruses, parasites and other pollutants like heavy metals can easily be disinfected. This process is best at removing microorganism from the water. It also helps in improving the natural taste of water.
This process is widely used for commercial and industrial purposes on a large scale. However, it can also be installed at homes on a smaller scale. However, this method is quite expensive and requires high maintenance.
6. Solar Disinfection
Solar disinfection is probably the most economical and one of the most natural method to purify water. This is a simple method in which solar energy from the sun is used to disinfect the water. However, the process takes a lot of time to complete and is quite slow in getting the water purified.
In this method, you are supposed to keep the water bottle in the sun. you should place the bottle in a location where it is in direct contact with the sun rays. You should keep the water bottle subjected to sun rays for at least six to eight hours. The duration may increase with weather conditions. if it is cloudy weather, then you must ensure that the water is kept in the direct contact with sunlight for at least 2 days for thorough sterilization. The sunlight is composed of ultraviolet rays that helps in eliminating the germs from water.
7. Disinfection through Iodine
Like chlorine, liquid iodine or iodine tablets can also be used for water purification. They are used in small amount and are intended for short tern purposes. The treatment of iodine, however, may leave a residual bitter taste. For the purpose, you can use lemon juice or powder to remove the residual bitterness of water. You can also use Vitamin C in this regard.
The above discussed methods are some of the major water filtering and purification processes. You are advised to carefully select the suitable method for your water purification. Keeping the merits and demerits of each process in mind, you can easily opt for the best option that suits you well in your water purification and filtering process.