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The Process Of Water Treatment Essay

1349 words - 6 pages

Malaysian consumed an average of 230 liters of water per person per day. Furthermore, Malaysian’s water consumption per capita per day is alarmingly high and increasingly about 7.6 liters per year (Kerri, 2008). Water plays an important role for humans as natural resource needed for both drinking and irrigation purposed. The increases of population as well as the increase in economic and industrial activities have led to high demand for water. In order to produce potable water, water treatment process must be conducted properly. According to Miller (2009), there are six important treatment processes which are coagulation, sedimentation, filtration, ion exchange, absorption, and disinfection. (Refer to Figure 1 in Appendix 1).
Firstly, water is allowed to undergo coagulation process. The principle of coagulation process is to remove turbidity from the water, microorganisms, chemical in solution, colloidal and suspended solids (Binnie & Kimber, 2002). Turbidity refers to a cloudy appearance of water due to existence of small particles suspended. Hence, no turbidity results in clearer water. The most frequently used coagulants are aluminium sulphate (alum) and iron salts. Basically, most of the dissolved particles in water bear negative charges that have a tendency to repel each other. In order to clump the particles together, alum which consists of positive charges is added. Therefore, negative charges particles magnetize towards the positive charges that resulted in a neutral or lack of charge. When there is no repelling amongst the particles, Van der Waal’s forces assembles the particles. Finally, the particles settled out from the water. However, Pizzi’s (2010) study suggests that the amount of alum added to the water must be in a correct proportion to prevent overdosing and deficiency of alum. Moreover, coagulants added in the water need to be mixed rapidly and in high energy to produce good coagulation and to achieve complete homogenization (Water & Process Technologies, 2012).
The second step is sedimentation process. Unlike coagulation, sedimentation is to improve the filtration process by eliminating suspended particles that presence in the previous step. Generally, water is allowed to pass through a motionless basin and cause the suspended particles to settle down. This process resulted in clear water comes out from the basin. Accumulation of suspended particles causes the formation of sludge. In addition, gravity forces enhance the suspended particles to settle down properly (World Health Organization, 2004). The unwanted sludge is removed by using a mechanical device known as sludge collection. Sludge collection scraps the sludge towards a collection point and transfers it to a sludge treatment process. Clarifiers also used in sedimentation, which encompass one or more basins. The clarifiers “are relatively large open tanks and are circular and rectangular in shape” (Pizzi, 2010, p. 8). Clarifier is responsible in reducing the velocity...

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