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The Chemistry Behind Your Home’s Water Supply


© Compound Interest

The Chemistry Behind Your Home’s Water Supply

We take for granted the water that comes out of the taps in our home when we turn them on – but a lot of work goes into getting it there. Chemistry, too, has a hand in making sure that the water is safe to drink. Here, we take a look at the water treatment process, and in particular the chemicals used to get clean drinking water to your tap.

The water that ends up in our homes can begin in a number of places. Much of it is groundwater – water beneath the Earth’s surface, trapped between the pores and cracks in rocks. This water can actually be relatively pure, due to natural filtration through chalk and similar rock types, and as such can sometimes skip through some of the treatment steps we’ll detail here, as it contains little by way of debris and organic material.

Water from reservoirs or rivers, on the other hand, will need these to be removed before further chemical treatment can begin. The very first step in this case is removing the larger debris from the water. This is a simple mechanical process, by which the water is passed through a grille which traps this debris. Removing it first prevents it from causing blockages in the treatment works later in the process.

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