Water Skills

Water skills are the different techniques for purification and processing water (removing undesirable chemicals, materials, and biological contaminants) to produce water fit for a specific purpose. In general the techniques include physical processes such as filtration and sedimentation, biological processes such as slow sand filters or activated sludge, chemical processes such as flocculation and chlorination and the use of electromagnetic radiation such as ultraviolet light.

Most water is purified for human consumption (drinking water) but water purification may also be designed for a variety of other purposes (medical, pharmacology, chemical and industrial uses). Raw water is water taken from the environment, and is subsequently treated or purified to produce potable water in a water purification works. Raw water should not be considered safe for drinking or washing without further treatment. Sand filters are used for water purification. There are three main types:

  • rapid (gravity) sand filters
  • upflow sand filters
  • slow sand filters

All three methods are used extensively in the water industry. The first two require the use of flocculant chemicals to work effectively whilst slow sand filters can produce very high quality water free from pathogens, taste and odour without the need for chemical aids.

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