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Water Treatment Steps for Reverse Osmosis and Softening

If your home water supply is compromised, it can have all sorts of negative effects on your daily life. Bacteria and mineral buildup can cause stomach issues, make your water smell and taste bad, and even affect your clothes and appliances.

If you believe that your community pipeline is not doing a sufficient job of treating the water for your home, it is time to look at private filtration options. These include reverse osmosis and water softening treatment and can make all the difference between suffering through your home’s tap and bathing water or enjoying purity.

Community Water Treatment Steps

It would be irresponsible of us to label all community water filtration as insufficient – the technology that most cities use is very advanced and often will be good enough to drink and use around your house. However, it is important to know how they work and what might be missing if your water quality is not up to par. Here are the four steps of water treatment that most cities and public treatment plants use:

water treatment steps
  1. Coagulation and Flocculation: The first step in most community treatment is introducing positively charged chemicals such as aluminum sulfate that can neutralize negative solids in the dirt, clay, and other organic material. Coagulation happens after the chemicals separate the initial materials, and the particles settle on the bottom of a treatment tank. From there, the mixing process of flocculation will bond these particles into ‘flocs’, allowing them to be removed easily via the next steps.
  2. Sedimentation: Sedimentation is the removal of the suspended matter and pathogens that have settled at the bottom of a water container. This is necessary to refine the quality of water and prep it for filtration and disinfection. 
  3. Filtration: After all the sedimentation particles have settled and been removed, there is still a smaller matter that needs to be removed such as bacteria, parasites, and dust. This happens by passing them over consistent types of particles used in filtration, such as sand or charcoal.
  4. Disinfection: This is the final stage of basic public water treatment and involves the addition of chlorine or chloramine typically. A disinfectant is selected based on what is best served for the purpose of the tank (drinking, swimming, etc.)

These four steps take care of a large percentage of common particles and bacteria that you will find in water supplies. However, depending on your location, the overall quality of the public filtration, and your pipeline, there can still be harmful matter that remains in the water. These include minerals and salts that keep your water hard, and certain bacteria and sulfates that are not fully removed by these four steps.

How to Treat Your Water for Optimal Purity

At a certain point in time, you may realize that your domestic water is not pure enough for functional home life. Your water will smell foul, or you might feel ill from drinking it. Additionally, if there are calcium buildups or dark stains on your toilets, sinks, and showers, it is a sign that you have hard water.

water treatment steps

This is no way to live life; your home and your family can benefit immensely both in the short and long-term from a high-end water treatment system. We recommend one of the following two treatments depending on your location and pipeline:

  • Reverse Osmosis: Despite being one of the easiest installations for home systems, reverse osmosis is still a very comprehensive treatment. RO is the process of moving water across a semipermeable membrane that will lower the incidence of lead, chemicals, and damaging particulates, among other things.

    A common question is if reverse osmosis can remove bacteria – and it certainly can. It is especially proficient at removing proteins produced by bacteria, which are often the remaining particulate that causes stomach issues in home water supplies. Reverse osmosis units provide your home with water quality similar to bottled water, and can be installed in one day.
  • Water Softening Treatment: A softening system removes dissolved calcium and magnesium salts that cause hardness in your water through a unit placed at the initial inflow source of your water supply. Using molecules that attract and bind to positive ions dissolved in the water, it removes excess calcium and magnesium, among other particles that will create hard water.

    The presence of hard water is what typically causes build-up of soap scum or other precipitates on the surfaces of your appliances. People often mistake these for being related to hygiene. – This also extends to the way clothes feel out of the wash, or your body feels after a shower. Basically, life is harder when your water is. Once your water supply is softened, you will notice a better experience for drinking, bathing, and taking care of your residence.

These two methods are typically used in conjunction with the baseline water treatment that most communities provide. In the event your home does not have this underlying system, you might need to look more into PAC (polyaluminum chloride) dosing, along with coagulation and flocculation treatments that cities use. Make sure to ask your water treatment specialist to give you a breakdown of how your water is being treated and what the next steps to modern purity are.

Next Steps for Water Treatment

Deer Valley Plumbing makes the water treatment process simple and efficient. The first step is a consultation, followed by a visit with one-day installation. We have decades of experience in high-end water treatment, and love educating our clients about all the potential benefits of pure water. 

water treatment steps

We believe that the quality of life for you and your family while at home is only as good as your water supply. If you could benefit from a modern water treatment technology, reach out today for a consultation.

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