What Are the Main Steps of Water Filtration?
During the process of water filtration, the removal of particles and contaminants takes place through a number of mechanisms. These include sedimentation, coagulation, flocculation, and filtration. These processes are designed to remove a wide variety of pollutants, including pathogenic organisms, bacteria, chemicals, and heavy metals.
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Sedimentation is a simple, low-cost process that occurs in large sedimentation basins. In this process, fine particles in water adsorb to the surface of flocs, which are clumped together. As the flocs continue to mix, their size increases, and they settle to the bottom of the basin. After sedimentation, the water is ready for the next step in the process.
Coagulation involves the addition of a coagulant to the water, such as aluminum sulfate. The coagulant neutralizes the negative electrical charge of fine particles. Coagulation occurs in a rapid mix unit, where a high-speed impeller dispenses the coagulant. It is also common to add chemical additives to the process. The addition of a coagulant may occur after sedimentation, during clarification, or at another point during the water treatment process.
Flocculation is a slow-stirring process that promotes collisions between particles. It also helps increase the size and strength of the flocs. The resulting flocs can be larger than the particles that were filtered out in the previous steps. These larger flocs are then settled out, allowing them to be filtered out. Coagulation and flocculation can be performed in a single basin or in a series of separate basins. These types of systems can be operated under pressure or gravity.
Disinfection is another method of removing microorganisms from water. This is done by a series of steps, which include ultraviolet light. This ultraviolet light works as a strong sterilizing agent. UV light is also effective at killing pathogenic organisms, including viruses and bacteria.
The main reason for filtration is the removal of small dissolved particles. These particles include bacteria, viruses, parasites, dust, and chemicals. Filtration is an economic and effective way to remove these particles. It is more effective than reverse osmosis, which is used for removing particles that are too small to be filtered. Filtration is less costly than distillation, as it requires little energy to operate. It is also easier to install and maintain than distillation.
The principal mechanism of in-depth filtration is surface capture. The area of the filter media that can capture particles depends on the size of the media. A filter with a 0.5 to 2.0 mm grain size is typically used. This size is sufficient to capture a small percentage of particles. However, the shape of the grain can determine the number of particles that are captured. A larger grain shape is more effective at trapping particles, and it is usually the preferred grain shape for filtration.
There are other methods for removing particles, including aeration and ion exchange. These methods also have limitations. Aeration can remove soluble gases, while ion exchange removes heavy metals and minerals that can cause pipe scaling. Ion exchange can also remove chlorine, which is used as a disinfectant. It can also remove herbicides, pesticides, and trihalomethanes.