City Water

“I’VE GOT CITY WATER”

Water is treated for the city, but approximately 2% is for in-home use. No doubt this water meets or exceeds EPA standards. The other 98% is for fire fighting, industrial use, etc. Now let’s say that the city treats this household water to an extremely high degree. It would still need to travel through miles of pipe that was installed who-knows how long ago and who-knows in what condition. It’s easy to see how more water treatment is necessary when water enters your home. The city could do it, but your bills would go through the roof.

CITY OR MUNICIPAL WATER

Water supply systems get water from a variety of locations, including groundwater (aquifers) and surface water (lakes and rivers). The water is then, in most cases, purified. The process goes something like this in the case of city/municipal water being fed by a groundwater supply:

• Water first enters the water treatment facility through an inlet pipe with a large metal grill to keep out large debris.

• A preliminary screening takes place at a pumping station, which removes fish, garbage, sewage, and grass.

• Once the debris is removed, the raw water enters the water treatment plant. At this point the water is dirty, smelly and unsafe to drink. Activated carbon is added to the water to remove the bad taste and odor.

• The water now enters a series of mixing tanks to coagulate and form clumps of sedimentation to be filtered mechanically, removing all particulate matter. However, the clear water is still teeming with bacteria and viruses.

• Technicians chlorinate the water by adding 1.9 ml per liter of water and, in many municipal water treatment systems, fluoride is also added to the water supply.

• Treated water then either flows by gravity or is pumped to reservoirs, which can be on the ground or elevated in such cases as water towers. Once water is used, wastewater is typically discharged in a sewer system and treated in a wastewater treatment plant before being discharged into a river.

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