What Is Water Treatment?

by Editor on May 2, 2013

Iron & Manganese Water Treatment Plant

The term water treatment is applied to all those processes that go into making water fit for industrial level consumption. The term can also be applied to all the processes that are carried out at commercial levels in order to clean up water for use by offices, homes, retail establishments, industry, hospitals and other sectors.

There are many ways in which water treatment can be carried out. It can be a government enterprise or even a private enterprise. But essentially water treatment results in the water becoming:

  • sterilized for drinking purposes
  • contaminant free
  • rid of dissolved minerals and metals and so on

The term water treatment can also be applied to wastewater treatment which can encompass bodies of water or areas such as:

  • sewage water
  • natural water bodies such as lakes and lagoons
  • grey water which is the wash off from bathrooms and washing machines and even the dishwasher
  • community water sources and so on

Thus, water treatment is the method by which contaminated or unclean water is treated and purified in order to make it fit for consumption; of various kinds; by end-users.

Many a time, water treatment processes are conducted so that the resultant clean water meets with the standards and norms laid down by bodies such as the EPA or Environment Protection Agency.

Depending on the kind of water that needs to be treated, different kinds of methodologies are employed by different companies.

Industrial level water treatment processes

If one is talking about general wastewater treatment, then water treatment processes would include methods for:

  • removal of algae, bacteria and virus
  • removal of organic and inorganic compounds
  • filtration of solids and suspended particulate matter
  • treating saline water

Sewage water treatment will go through stages which involve settlement tanks, disgestion tanks, aeration, percolation and removal to landfill slights or removal of sludge. Quite a few companies also treat wastewater and sewage water to such an extent that the treated water can be returned to enhance the natural water cycle.

There are plenty of different methods for treating drinking water. At the commercial level, some of the popular methods include chlorination and sedimentation.


This is one of the most popular methods of treating drinking water. It has found acceptance in quite a few countries and the process helps in controlling the growth of biological organisms and even algae. The taste of chlorinated water may be very different from non-treated water. At the domestic level, an individual can certainly use further water treatment processes such as reverse osmosis to make the taste of such water even more acceptable.


Simply put, this method of water treatment will result in the particulate matter condensing into larger blocks and floating up on top of the liquid. The liquid with sediment can then be filtered or treated further for consumption.

Large-scale water treatment plants will pay attention to the ecological impact of pulling out water from a reservoir, storing it and then treating it and then releasing it for public consumption. This helps in preservation of groundwater and the balance as far as the ecosystem of the region is concerned.

About the Author

James is a writer and blogger with 5 years experience.

photo by: Pam_Broviak

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