Over one billion people lack access to clean drinking water.
This according to the WHO (2007).
Four billion people get ill every year in some kind of diarrhea related disease and almost two billion people die from it.
A huge percentage of these cases could be saved, was there an easy water purification method available.
If there was a simple technique for treating water at home such as chlorination, good filters, solar disinfection and storing water in safe containers, it would save a huge number of lives every year.
A major public health goal in the developing countries is to reduce diseases that are related to contaminated water.
The Goal With Water Purification
Water purification is, just as it sounds, a process of cleaning the water.
It´s supposed to make your water pure, clean and safe to drink.
Which we all desire.
But what exactly do you do to make water optimally clean?
In the water purification process you remove undesired chemicals, biological contaminants, suspended solids and gases from contaminated water.
The ultimate goal with water purification is to produce water fit for a specific purpose.
Water Purification – How Is It Done?
Most water is purified for human consumption, mainly meaning our daily drinking water.
But water is needed in many areas, not only for drinking.
Water purification may also be designed for a variety of other purposes, including meeting the requirements of medical, pharmacological, chemical and industrial applications.
There are many methods used to purify water and include physical processes such as:
Or various biological water purification methods such as:
- slow sand filters
- biologically active carbon
And chemical processes such as:
Lastly the method of using electromagnetic radiation such as ultraviolet light.
The water purification process will reduce the concentration of unwanted particles, parasites, bacteria, algae, viruses and fungi.
More, there is a range of dissolved material derived from the surfaces that water may have been in contact with after falling as rain.
You can´t tell just by the look of it wether water is of an appropriate quality. No, a visual examination is not good enough.
A simple procedure such as boiling your water will NOT treat the possible contaminants that you may find in the water.
Neither will the use of a household activated carbon filter.
No, the water needs to go through a proper and approved water purification process to be totally “Healthy Water” thus safe for drinking purposes.
Who Decides If Water Is Good Enough?
The standards for drinking water quality are typically set by governments or by international standards.
These standards will typically set a minimum and a maximum concentration of contaminants, depending on what the water is to be used for.
Even your best natural spring water – considered safe for all practical purposes – must be tested.
According to the test results, a decision is made to what kind of treatment (if any) will be needed before the water is classified as drinkable.
The only way to really obtain the necessary information for deciding on the appropriate method of water purification is either chemical or microbiological analysis. They are both expensive methods but considered a must.