Water Treatment: What It Is, Technologies and Process

water treatment plant in the city

What Is Water Treatment?

Water treatment is the process by which water is made safe for human consumption. Water treatment also includes the removal of contaminants, excessive or harmful amounts of minerals, and sometimes the addition of useful chemicals.

There are many different ways to treat drinking water, but all involve removing substances that might contaminate it. The end result of water treatment is that harmful substances are removed, and the water quality has improved. In terms of global significance, water is among the planet’s most valuable resources. All life on earth depends on water for existence, making it the second most important component after the air.

What Is Water Treatment Plant?

Water treatment plant plays a significant role in ensuring that the water we consume is safe and contaminant-free. Water treatment plants are used to transform raw water into potable water. Water is becoming more limited as the world’s population grows. That is why it was developed to allow us to filter and recycle our extra drinking water, preventing it from going to waste.

Process of Water Treatment

Water treatment aims to remove contaminants or substances that are harmful or unpleasant to humans. It has a lot of effective processes for gathering potable water supplies, and there are several purification processes, such as coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection.


Coagulation is a process that removes solids from water by allowing them to form clumps. The solid particles clump together and are removed as sludge by settling or filtration. Coagulation is the process of making a substance into a solid mass by breaking up and collecting small particles.


Flocculation is the process of changing the size of particles in a fluid suspension by adding a small amount of another substance, called a “flocculant.” This process aims to create clusters or clumps of particles that are large enough to sink but small enough to stay suspended in solution.

Flocculation is a common and successful water treatment technology that involves causing suspended particles to cluster together so that they can settle more effectively. It involves the introduction of various chemicals or other materials into the water to coagulate suspended particles, causing them to clump together.


Sedimentation is a process that uses gravity to separate materials from water. Sedimentation is a method of water treatment. Impurities may be removed using sedimentation. It eliminates solids and sinks to the bottom, enabling clean water to rise and stay on top. Sedimentation is a water treatment procedure that separates suspended materials from water so they may be removed periodically.


Filtration is the process of removing solids, chemicals, and microbes from water by passing them through a medium such as sand, gravel, or activated carbon. Filtration is a water treatment process that removes particles and chemicals, among other contaminants.

When it comes to water treatment, it’s a process that uses an ultra-fine filter to remove any impurities from the water. Water treatment passes the water through a membrane and eliminates contaminants. There are different types of filters, each with its unique function such as microfiltration, ultrafiltration, and nanofiltration.


Microfiltration is a water treatment process that purifies water by removing large particles, organic material, and some dissolved impurities. Microfiltration is also very good at removing microbes and bacteria from water.

It can remove particles smaller than 0.1 to 10 microns from drinking water. This helps to enhance the overall quality of the water. It offers significant advantages over several alternative approaches. In addition to this, it consumes very little power while maintaining a high level of productivity.


Ultrafiltration is a process that involves filtering water through a fine membrane barrier of micro-holes that screens out the larger particles and lets the smaller ones pass through. This process is used to clean water and remove undesirable compounds.

It removes contaminants from water by filtering it through a thin membrane. Ultrafiltration draws in water to pass through the membrane under pressure, then forces the clean water out of the system. The ultrafiltration membrane has small pores to block larger particles, such as bacteria and viruses, but large enough to allow dissolved solids like salt, sugar, and minerals to pass through. Clean water then passes out of the system into a storage tank or distribution system.


Nanofiltration is a crossflow membrane technology that has been used as a water treatment technique.
It is often used in public water systems and can be seen as an alternative to chlorine-based disinfectants to treat tap water.

It is highly effective when it comes to blocking protozoa, bacteria, viruses, and even some chemicals from passing through them. This allows for improved safety for drinking water and reduces the need for other treatments which have harmful side effects on humans.

Dissolved particles and dissolved ions may be separated using a nanofiltration because it uses a membrane  with  pores as small as 0.001 microns. The process removes 50 to 80% of bacteria, viruses, suspended solids, organic compounds, inorganic compounds, and other impurities, not water-soluble, from the water being treated before it is recycled or used for different purposes like irrigation.


bacteria which causes diseases
Water treatment programs and disinfection techniques are designed to protect public health by reducing the number of disease-causing microbes in the drinking water.

The goal of any disinfection process is to make it impossible for harmful organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa (single-celled parasites), to survive in drinking water or food products made from that water.

Drinking Water Treatment

woman drinking water
It is a process of making drinking water safe for human consumption. The method includes filtration and the use of chemicals for disinfection. Drinking water treatment is done to make the environment clean. It helps save people from diseases that are spread by contaminated water and reduce the risk of diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, and typhoid fever. It also helps to conserve freshwater resources.

Industrial Water Treatment

Water is a very important resource in our society and industry. It can be used for drinking and many other applications. That is why water treatment is essential to any industry. Industrial water treatment is, also known as industrial wastewater treatment, is a process that aims to minimize the risk of substances or contaminants in water or wastewater.

Industries and businesses often use industrial water treatment with large volumes of wastewater. Industrial wastewater can contain various chemicals, heavy metals, nutrients, suspended solids, and other types of pollutants.

Industrial water treatment system remove pollutants and contaminants to provide safe water for drinking. The setup of the machine will depend on what kind does the institution needs, but in general, the goal is to make sure there are no pollutants or contaminants left, while maintaining the water quality.

Water Treatment Technologies For Households

Water treatment technologies are used to purify the water by removing the contaminants. It provides safe drinking water to households without any risk of contracting diseases.

Water treatment is a process through which contaminated or unsafe water is purified for household use. It also improves surface and groundwater quality, reducing consumers’ complaints of low-quality drinking water.

Various types of technologies provide households with safe drinking water, such as reverse osmosis, distillation, ultraviolet treatment, and water softeners.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse osmosis differs from traditional osmosis, which causes water to flow from high to low concentrations through semipermeable membranes. In the reverse osmosis, the pressure of the water is raised while it passes through a filter that removes dissolved solids and other contaminants in the water. The pressure of the water pushes it back into an area where it can be collected for consumption or use in another process.

The process of forcing water through a semi-permeable membrane in a reverse osmosis system may remove up to 99% of dissolved particles from the water. In addition to its industrial applications, reverse osmosis systems are often used to purify potable water.

The pores of reverse osmosis filters are typically less than 0.0001 microns in size. Reverse osmosis purifies water by filtering out most of the minerals in addition to all of the organic molecules and viruses. Desalination occurs when monovalent ions are removed during the reverse osmosis process.

Distillation Systems

A distillation system is a water treatment technology that can remove dissolved solids like salt and calcium from the water. It is easy to use, doesn’t require complicated installation, and is cost-efficient. It removes all dissolved solids like arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, nitrate, sodium, sulfate, and many organic chemicals.

Purifying water using a water distillation system is a simple process that may be done quickly, cheaply, and efficiently. Simple distillation only requires a condenser and a source of heat. Water’s boiling point is lower than the impurities and minerals it contains. This implies that any contaminants in the water will evaporate together with the water itself during a boil. The condenser then allows the steam to return to liquid water separately from the original steam source.

Ultraviolet Treatment Systems (with pre-filtration)

Ultraviolet treatment systems with pre-filtration can be used in different settings, from small residential homes to large-scale industrial facilities. Ultraviolet treatment systems with pre-filtration are used for a variety of tasks. They take out dissolved substances from water and make the water safe for consumption.

Ultraviolet Treatment Systems use UV light to kill bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in drinking water and prevent them from spreading. These systems require pre-filtration to remove large particles, such as sediment, before the UV process can occur.

Water Softeners

woman taking a bath
Water softeners are a water treatment technology that reduces the hardness of household water. Hardness is the measure of minerals in the water. The most common type of hard water is calcium and magnesium salts. Some people add salt to tap water or install a reverse-osmosis system to reduce hardness further, but these approaches use more energy and produce waste.

A water softener has a tank filled with resin beads that soften the hard water by removing calcium and magnesium salts. Detergents are able to do a better job of removing grime and grease from fabrics and dishes after being treated with water that has been softened. It also aids soaps in making the skin feel “slippery” after washing. After installing a water softener, it is recommended by most manufacturers that you reduce the quantity of soap and detergent you use.

Wastewater Treatment

wastewater storage where used water is treated
We call the water that has been used for other purposes “wastewater,” and it must be cleaned up before it can be discharged into another body of water. There are several sources of wastewater. It includes everything that is discarded in a toilet or drain. Rainwater and runoff carry a wide range of contaminants with them when they flow down street gutters and into the sewer system. Agriculture and industry are two more potential origins of wastewater.

Wastewater treatment is a vital stage in the sanitation process. It can take place at a sewage plant, in a septic tank, or anywhere where there is access to sufficient water, energy, and biological nutrients.

The purpose of wastewater treatment is to convert it from a waste product to a reusable one. The goal is to clean up the wastewater that has passed through our homes, businesses, and industrial processes. Wastewater treatment facilities use mechanical, chemical, and biological processes to clean up wastewater.