Water treatment plant

Water purification at the point of use (usually in the home) is a potential way to affordably improve the water quality and quality of life for the 1.1 billion people living in developing countries who do not have ready access to a safe water supply.

Water treatment (removal of impurities) and water purification (complete treatment as needed including disinfection, to ensure safety) is typically carried out in a large water treatment plant (WTP) which uses many processes inappropriate to the home scale. Activated sludge, upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors, aeration tanks and other components require monitoring and maintenance, appropriate for a centralized system but not for a decentralized system.

Cost may be more or less than centralized systems, depending on many factors.

Advantages[edit | edit source]

By processing after distribution, point-of-use treatment avoids the possibility of contamination during distribution, e.g. through leaky pipes and below-atmospheric pressures in the pipes.[1]

Less reliance on government or corporate services, which may be unreliable or under-resourced.

Disadvantages[edit | edit source]

Maintenance is less likely to be carried out, eliminating many otherwise promising technologies.

Examples[edit | edit source]

Cost comparison[edit | edit source]

Mass production is an advantage to devices such as the LifeStraw.[expansion needed]

Ceramic Pot filters use locally available materials and labor, and are one of the cheapest technologies available.[expansion needed]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. E.g. in Indonesia it is very common to affix a pump to the water inlet. Standard "septic tanks" are not true septic tanks at all but have an earth floor, adding to groundwater contamination. Widespread use of pumps draws polluted groundwater into the pipes.
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Authors Chris Watkins
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 3 pages link here
Impact 530 page views
Created January 7, 2011 by Chris Watkins
Modified March 2, 2024 by Kathy Nativi
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