Talk:Water purification

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Source of Water[edit]

The most recent edition of Water Quality & Treatment published by McGraw Hill and the American Water Works Association classify source waters as groundwater or surface water. The two subcategories of upland and lowland waters are helpful but water purification processes are generally chosen on the basis of the two major class designations. Edzwald, James K. Water Quality and Treatment. Sixth ed. New York:McGraw HIll. 2011, p. 5.2-5.3. Drinkingwaterdoc (talk) 07:18, 25 May 2012 (UTC)


--Alex 16:11, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Mion, with all due respect, I can't understand how this article on water purification is a Hydrogen-related article for the Wiki Hydrogen Project. One brief paragraph about how water may be purified if it is used for the small-scale production of hydrogen (presumably by electrolysis??) is a very, very tenuous connection to the Wiki Hydrogen Project. Surely, that project has bigger fish to fry. - mbeychok 06:40, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree and have removed it. -- Alan Liefting talk 06:02, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Synergy with sewage treatment[edit]

This should follow the same format as sewage treatment: primary, secondary, tertiary. The same technology is used for both. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Samw (talkcontribs) April 22, 2003 (UTC)

Thanks, that's a good point. But there is reliance on biological activity in the secondary stage, and the tertiary stage is mandatory for drinking water and in the case of a groundwater source, can be the only treatment it gets. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Uyanga (talkcontribs) April 25, 2003(UTC)
I have re-formatted to try and bring this more in line with waste water treatment although there are major differences. My intention is to make this more logical. Velela 11:45, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Field purification?[edit]

I needed 32 quick facts in 3 days i used this site it only took about 30 minutes —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) December 1, 2006 (UTC)

I've heard of field purification of water with iodine tablets / other additives to the water... should there be an addition regarding that type of water purification? Seems to fit this category. --Bantman 22:07, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea. All I know about them is the memories of halizone tablets we used in 'Nam back in the '60s. Tasted pretty bad, but considering the alternative... -Vsmith 00:09, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It's also possible to use ordinary bleach. My water engineering lecturer at UNSW said she used it when travelling, and she seemed to regard it as effective. Mostly, though, it's considered an emergency measure. I've added something to the article. Singkong2005 10:22, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

There is a page concerning portable water purification. Perhaps it's not suitable for merging, but I think it would make sense to include something at the top of the page like "This article discusses large scale/municipal water treatment. For portable/emergency water treatment, see portable water purification. I just don't know the appropriate markup to use for it. I suppose the best way to get it done would be to just put it there and let someone else figure it out. Senatorpjt (talk) 15:49, 2 December 2008 (UTC) I need to know if recycled water is safe to drink? or not and why. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:22, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Chlorination Page[edit]

There is another page called chlorination which is not very NPOV, and is a stub. It isn't even linked from this page. What should be done? Oasisbob 20:17, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Chlorination is a more general topic that spans, water treatment, swimming pool water treatment, air conditionuing maintenance etc. and is probably worth retaining as a seperate article, but it could do with some improvement ! Velela 20:28, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Water treatment methods[edit]

The Water treatment methods section should be changed a little to make it the stages of municipal water treatment. (It's already described in stages, rather than being alternative methods). Some of the material would then be moved to other parts of the article.

If no one else does it, I will get to eventually. --Singkong2005 08:15, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

I think the article should be more specific when explaining the process of cleaning water.Vinaq 02:31, 6 March 2007 (UTC)Vinaq

I agree signed: karel godefroit —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:15, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Expansion of Water treatment methods[edit]

Hi all, This is my first Wikipedia edit, so sorry if I messed anything up. I expanded on the 'Water treatment methods' section of the page. I tried to make it more informative and did not worry about making it follow waste water treatment since they are very different. I also consolidated the information regarding bleach as a disinfectant. JSterling 06:04, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Big improvement - good work. --Singkong2005 11:32, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Home filtering[edit]


I think it would be a good idea to include some talk about the safety of using such systems at home, like Brita. Are they really making water safer to use, or is it simply a false sense of security

I think the article addresses the safety issue effectively. In my experience as a water chemist the filters, unless regularly changed, often cause water quality degradation. Feel free to ask more specific questions on my talk page. Sterichinderance 07:35, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

The systems at home I believe work very well to purify tap water. I may not know much about the subject but I rarely drink just plain tap water. I haven't been sick in quite a while.6:01, 21 March, 2007
From what I've read, Brita and related systems do reduce, but don't usually eliminate, the presence of certain contaminants, as described in the packaging. Your local water system may not have all or any of the contaminants of concern, or it may have contaminants which these filters do not remove. You can have your water tested if you want to be sure. Personally, I use a Brita to improve the taste of the water, since I live in a city with old pipes. We get annual mailings detailing the measured contaminants in our municipal water. This article doesn't address home filtering at all, and that would be informative. -- Beland 02:15, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Speaking as a former water analyst, home filters such as Brita should be viewed purely as devices to improve taste and clarity (which in my opinion they do quite well), rather for any supposed health benefits. The standard of public water supply, particularly in the UK and most of Europe, is excellent and the quality usually exceeds that of most bottled water you would buy in a store. If you have any doubts as to the quality of your water you should contact your supplier and request that tests are carried out. Water companies are obliged to test supplies regularly both from their treatment works and service reservoirs as well as at random from consumer's properties. The results of these tests are available to any member of the public who wishes to view them. --DrFod 19:00, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Water treatment method: clay filter[edit]

Even if not yet largely in use, clay pots made porous by the addition of sawdust before firing are effective in filtering most parasites. The addition of silver (as colloidial silver, or sometimes silver nitrate) after firing further enhances the effectivness in stoping bacteria and parasites.

Shouldn't this be in the article, or maybe in "drinking water" , with perhaps a link to potters for peace [[1]]?

Maybe I'm a bit timid, but I'm not good at spelling and this is my first edit, I'll get over it ;-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) November 6, 2006 (UTC)

Go ahead and add the material. We'll help fix it if you make a mistake. Cheers, -Will Beback 10:08, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

For a awesome home water purification system you need two stages. One stage is carbon/charcoal filtration, like brita, and a sediment filter. 10" in length, 3/4" inlet /outlet, depending on your line size. One could aquire these items in a hardware store or do it yourself store. This can be placed underneath you kitchen sink tying into your water line. Brita by itself will only help with the taste. A sediment filter, 40 micron or less takes out the particulates. JR —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:25, August 24, 2007 (UTC)

Water purification in sunlight[edit]

Does anyone know anything about pruifying tap water by putting it into green-glass bottles and standing the bottles in sunlight for at least a week? does this allow the sediments and organisms to settle to the bottom of the bottle, or does it change the chemical makeup of the sediments and the organisms within the bottle? does this create any bacteria, fungi or viruses within the bottle?Madewann 23:55, 31 January 2007 (UTC)Wade Mann

You're refering to sterilisation of water by the sun's UV rays. Many puddles of water that have stood out in the sun have very low microbial activity due to UV exposure. However putting bottles of water out in the sun is a very dubious method of sterilisation, influences such as levels of organic material in the water and temperature could even end up promoting growth of bacteria. --DrFod 19:10, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
I notice that brief mention of the SODIS method is now made in the article. There are several links to the scientific evidence for the efficacy of this method at this link.Jimjamjak (talk) 14:27, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Feb 6th edit by - removed a bunch of stuff, but not vandalism? Why?[edit]

The Feb 6th 2007 edit by User: removed what I though was some good information so I reverted it. I couldn't see any good reason for the removal (there was a slight non-NPOV slant to the writing) Because I was looking for a reason, I did a google search on the phrase "This may impart a slight taste to the water, and may cause brownish stains on porcelain fixtures" and found the page, There are a number of close similarities between that page and the wikipedia page, but I can't tell for sure who copied from whom. Although I did find a previous 6-Aug-2006 edit from User:Mion that added the phrase " or for the production of hydrogen" to the article and this phrase also appears on the aquamaintalex page, so I think wikipedia is the source of their page. Also, the 7-Jul-2006 edit from Sterichinderance added the phrase "Some of the advantages of ozone include the production of relatively fewer" which again, also appears in the aquamaintalex page. So I'm not sure why the edit removal, but I don't think it was copywrite infringment. Thomas Dzubin Talk 16:40, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

KDF 55 Filter Media[edit]

Anyone know anything about it? 09:59, 23 March 2007 (UTC)BeeCier


Needs work on tone, here is a good example:

"FLOCCULATION is a process in which we first clarify the water. Clarifying means removing any turbidity or colour so that the water is sparklingly clear and colourless."

Sounds like a WTP brochure or tour. I will do some work on it at a later date, right now I am slammed on projects. But please, feel free. -- 15:20, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge/coordination proposal[edit]

Please voice your opinions below about the proposed merge of at least parts of Water treatment, Sewage treatment, Reclaimed water, and Reclamation into this article.

Currently, these articles are not coordinated, they duplicate material, and they often don't even know about each others' existence. Water purification is the most basic and easy to understand English term, so this can and, in my opinion should, include all these topics, but some of the articles can of course continue to exist as separate entries once their content is coordinated and the articles are interlinked. This article would become too long anyhow if it contained all this info. --Espoo 11:06, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I will suggest you to find Alex because waste management is his expertise. OhanaUnitedTalk page 09:52, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Hi all. I completely disagree with the merge proposal. Sewage treatment is the process by which sewage is cleaned to discharge consents- ie a stage when it is suitable for discharge into rivers, streams and the sea. Water purification implies that the water is treated to a level of potability (to be able to drink it). The two focuses will require different levels of treatment and processing in order to meet the different standards. I agree that the articles require improvement and refinement but not with the merges. Cheers--Alex 10:02, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Sewage treatment often involves water purification, certainly. But it wouldn't make sense to merge them, there's too much content, and different intentions. When I found the Sewage Treatment article, I was looking for information on sewage treatment, not water purification. I looked at the water purification article, because of the merge proposal, and it was very different from what I was looking for. So, no, they absolutely should not be merged. I do think some of the redundancy can be fixed, from both articles, and they should coordinate and play well together, but water purification as a general topic, and sewage treatment as a more specific and somewhat different topic, are both far too involved to have in one merged article. There's a reason there are separate articles on Wikipedia in the first place. Tkircher 19:44, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Oppose. They are all good as seperate articles. Water treatment is a nice overview article, Sewage treatment is different to water treatment and reclamation is not just about water. -- Alan Liefting talk 05:59, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Oppose They are all good as seperate articles. Water treatment is a nice overview article, Sewage treatment is different to water treatment and reclamation is not just about water(thanks for the text Alan).Mion 00:40, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Oppose Too much content for one article.--Work permit 17:56, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Oppose Reclamation applies to industries besides water treatment (asphalt for instance).
Oppose I agree, Reclamation applies to industries besides water treatment (construction in general). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:30, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Environmental technology template[edit]

I'd like to replace the Environmental technology template with one that matches the standard navbox style, i.e. horizontal instead of vertical, collapsing and typically placed at the bottom of article pages. I've done a mock up of what this would look like at {{User:Jwanders/ET}}. Figured this was a big enough change that I should post before going ahead with it. Please discuss here--jwandersTalk 21:58, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

pH Adjustment Section[edit]

The pH adjustment section is misleading. "Pure water" will be acidic due to carbonic acid (dissolved CO2). While pH 7 is neutral, the goal of water treatment is not to get a neutral pH water. Saying that water is pH 7 is an over simplification..Shniken1 (talk) 01:11, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

how we can purified solid waste of industrial waste —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:42, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Membrane fouling[edit]

I'm in the process of 'wikifying' the article Membrane fouling. Could someone take a look at it and clarify what technology the article is referring to in the first paragraph. It's unclear whether membrane fouling is something that occurs commonly during all sewage or water treatment or if it's a problem with a new water treatment technology involving membranes. thanks. Nihola (talk) 05:16, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

It appears to be a reference to the use of membranes for potable water production (presumably from a surface water source). It is a pity that the article doesn't say this because it is very confusing at present, especially as membranes have widespread uses elsewhere outside of water treatment technology. In surface water treatment for potable use, fouling problems can be quite extensive and can involve algae, cyanobacteria, actinomycetes, filamentous bacteria, protozoa especially sedentary species such as vorticella, rotifers and entoprocta. I don't believe that there is any widespread use of membrane technology in sewage treatment except, perhaps, for some plants where the final effluent needs particularly rigorous treatment to meet critical environmental standards - that is speculation on my part , I know of no such works. Best of luck in your improvement work on Membrane fouling !.  Velella  Velella Talk   09:05, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

'Membranes' section is corrupt?[edit]

There is no 'Membrane' section showing; shouldn't there be one? Material that belongs in a membrane section is haphazardly commingled at the bottom of the 'Rapid sand filters' section, starting with the bulleted list headed 'Advantages:'. I'd fix it myself but I am neither an experienced editor nor a water treatement expert. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:44, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Baffle box[edit]

A small-scale fish hatchery with baffle box

Baffle box might be mentioned here (talk) 15:58, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Inclusion of "Fluoride is also a known carcinogen"[edit]

I've started a discussion at Talk:Water_fluoridation#Moved_from_Water_purification_for_discussion. --Ronz (talk) 20:13, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Distilled water good?[edit]

I think the section on distilled water being healthy needs to be reviewed - it's fine to have an opposing viewpoint but some of the text seems to be insinuating that the WHO is are ignoring evidence and doing the wrong thing.

The main issue from a technical viewpoint is not that distilled water doesn't have enough nutrients for the body, more that it is unsaturated and thus has the ability to leech minerals that are already within the body, the point of which appears to have been missed by the pro-distilled water contributors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:09, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

In the U.S. dissolved solids should be less than 500 ppm (carbonates, sulfates, sodium, chloride, calcium and magnesium hardness). The beneficial minerals are calcium and magnesium and possibly a trace of fluoride. So even in borderline high dissolved solids water, there are not a whole lot of beneficial minerals. A small quantity of zinc may be beneficial to people who have a zinc deficient diet, a common problem because of widespread soil zinc deficiency. However, I do not believe that zinc is present in beneficial amounts in most of the worlds drinking water. Because mineral content varies widely, many people around the world drink water very low in minerals.Phmoreno (talk) 01:22, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree. The presence of zinc at detectable concentrations must be very unusual - I have never encountered it in fully treated water but have seen significant zinc content is untreated supplies emanating from metalliferous rock strata in mid Wales. Zinc salts are relatively easy to precipitate or flocculate out and are generally retained in filter sludge. The comments above about distilled water leaching out minerals from the body is, in my opinion , totally gobbledegook and wholly without foundation or any reliable sources.  Velella  Velella Talk   16:59, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Water which i am drinking its hardness is 5 it good Sarvajeet1981 (talk) 04:10, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

Flocculation definition[edit]

In the section on flocculation the forming of a precipitate is mentioned, this is incorrect as a precipitate has to come out of solution, flocculation merely removes suspended particles. Biqh 08:33, 19 May 2011 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Biqh (talkcontribs)

The Fluoride Debate[edit]

Even though the traditional books on water treatment focus on Fluoridation as a finishing touch to water treatment, some of the modern treatment plants do not use it as an option. The cause is properly explained in the fluoride debate. ( References on this matter is also available on this wiki: . Therefore, I think, it is necessary to include this matter in the first point of Thanks. -- Miah M. Hussainuzzaman ( — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:17, 31 May 2011 (UTC)


I was surprised to see that trout are used in the Czech drinking water plant illustrated by the photograph. Is this practice common elsewhere? Does this perhaps warrant some more explanation?Jimjamjak (talk) 07:07, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Trout (especially) Rainbow trout have been used widely in water treatment works in many countries with varyingly low levels of success. The theory is that pollutants will stress the fish and their behaviour will change which can be detected electronically and used as a warning to operators. Regrettably this doesn't appear to work reliably in practice and in many works they sit around in a tank which at the very least indicates that the water isn't killing fish, but doesn't add much more to the qualitative assessment of the water produced. That is my highly subjective view having worked in many water treatment works but I would be delighted if someone could prove me wrong.  Velella  Velella Talk   22:01, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

In case of emergency[edit]

I added this based on my experience working in municipal treatment for about a year after graduating as a chemical engineer.Phmoreno (talk) 21:46, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Lead and contamination[edit]

I am not convinced that the lead should refer to contaminated water. Contamination is a relative term which depends upon expectations and use. Good quality sea-water might be considered highly contaminated for a drinking water use but would be ideal for surfing. I would prefer to see simply water in the lead. It is clear that in purifying water, materials are being removed or made safe. As an example, water from deep chalk aquifers is treated, typically to remove bi-carbonate ions and carbon dioxide, and a disinfectant is often added to maintain biological quality in the distribution system. However, the original water as drawn from the aquifer would be an excellent quality potable water - not in any sense contaminated.  Velella  Velella Talk   22:43, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

UV treatment photo[edit]

I reversed the recent upload of a home treatment device based on UV. This article is about large scale drinking water treatment. Upload looks like an attempt to promote a specific product. Let me know if I have read this incorrectly. Drinkingwaterdoc (talk) 03:31, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

I agree. I was wondering about doing exactly what you have done but you beat me to the draw !.  Velella  Velella Talk   12:59, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Hydrogen peroxide as a drinking water disinfectant[edit]

For the passage that I removed, no citation was given that showed that any water utility in the world was using hydrogen peroxide as a drinking water disinfectant. In fact, there is ample evidence that hydrogen peroxide is unsuitable as a drinking water disinfectant. In 1980, National Academy Press published the findings of the Safe Drinking Water Committee of the National Research Council, which summarized what was known about drinking water disinfection. In the conclusions, it was stated: “Because of its relatively high cost and the high concentrations that are required to achieve disinfection in a reasonable time, hydrogen peroxide is not a generally satisfactory disinfectant for drinking water.” In tables comparing the relative efficiencies of disinfectants, hydrogen peroxide was listed as of “little or questionable value” and suitable--no as a drinking water disinfectant. Hydrogen peroxide was listed as more than 33,000 and more than 1,000,000 times less effective a disinfectant as chlorine for ‘’E. coli’’ and poliovirus 1. Reference: Safe Drinking Water Committee (National Research Council). (1980). Drinking Water and Health. Vol. 2. Washington, D.C.:National Academy Press. pp. 91-94, 112-118. Available on Google Books:

In a website that discussed the basic principles of hydrogen peroxide, it was stated that hydrogen peroxide for drinking water disinfection is “not permitted in Germany. Drinkingwaterdoc (talk) 05:37, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

pH adjustment[edit]

This section has been edited over time making it difficult to read. I tried to simplify the language (very tough in a water chemistry article). There were several instances of redundant material that were not consistent. I have added clarifying information from the pH and sea water WP pages. The concept of protection of metals by precipitation of calcium carbonate was particularly confusing. I rearranged several sentences and added others. I fulfilled the [citation needed] tag for degasifiers. I would be interested in hearing feedback on the changes. Drinkingwaterdoc (talk) 18:44, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Flocculation section changes[edit]

I tried to edit the existing section to resolve several inaccuracies and inconsistent usages, but I was unable to make it work. I have rewritten this section relying on several books that deal specifically with water purification. I tried to incorporate some of the information from the original section. I did eliminate the sentences on alum poisoning because it was not germane to the topic. Any chemical can be overfed and cause problems in water distributed to consumers. As always, I value comments or suggestions. Drinkingwaterdoc (talk) 00:49, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Sedimentation Section Changes[edit]

I have provided some edits to the original article, added other related sections and provided references. The information in the sentences dealing with the importance of depth and detention time were not correct. Note that none of the original material was referenced. I have included information on these issues from current textbooks. I also added information on Sludge blanket clarifiers and Dissolved air floatation. Drinkingwaterdoc (talk) 17:37, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Use of nanoparticles to purify water[edit]

Why doesn’t this article include at least a mention of the use of nanoparticles as a filtration method of purifying water?

Dr. Theresa A. Dankovich is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA , assigned to The Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT). Dr.Dankovich is the inventor of The Drinkable Book which doubles as a means of purifying water and as a means to educate people. This is achieved by printing educational material on a special paper that can be used as a filter to purify water. The filter paper is her invention that uses anti-bacterial silver nanoparticles. She has established that the capacity of each filter page is 30 days of drinkable water and the capacity of the entire book is a 4-year supply of drinkable water. To develop this technology she has created a non-profit organization: pAge Drinking Paper, with a goal of improving health in poor communities abroad. So far work has been done in Ghana, Haiti, Kenya and India.[1] Tvbanfield (talk) 15:12, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

well, what is stopping you to add a sentence about this? Make sure you quote a reliable source! WP:Reliable EvMsmile (talk) 07:30, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Bioremediation Techniques for Water Purification[edit]

I was wondering if it would be appropriate to add another technique for Water Purification that includes bioremediation. Bioremediation is a technique using microbial organisms in order to eliminate environmental contaminants. Such techniques involve in situ and ex situ control settings. [2] This technique has been successful in removing compounds, such as perchlorate, from surface and groundwater and thus purifying contaminants found in drinking water and has been suggested EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) methodology [3] Kabanach (talk) 23:59, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

New World Health Organization Reference[edit]

There is a relatively new World Health Organization study, compiled in 2013, that is a follow up to the referenced 2007 WHO's study titled "Combating waterborne disease at the household level." This new study offers similar statistics, and moreover the WHO has recently compiled a list of statistics showing an improvement of water purification and once again the work that still needs to be done in terms of global water purification [4][5]

External links modified (January 2018)[edit]

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The WHO is Not a Standard[edit]

There appear to be some confused people who believe that the fact that the WHO thinks that demineralized water is not good for people therefore makes it an actual fact of science. It most certainly does not. This misguided position needs to be corrected in the article ASAP. - KitchM (talk) 20:22, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^ Van Trump, James Ian; Coates, John D. (18 December 2008). "Thermodynamic targeting of microbial perchlorate reduction by selective electron donors". The ISME Journal. 3 (4): 466–476. doi:10.1038/ismej.2008.119. ISSN 1751-7362. 
  3. ^ "" (PDF).  External link in |title= (help)
  4. ^ Progress on sanitation and drinking-water (2013 update. ed.). Geneva: World Health Organization. 2013. ISBN 9789241505390. 
  5. ^ "Drinking-water". World Health Organization.