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Dec 11

WATER TREATMENT

All-Bottling-Water-BusinessWater is a liquid that is vital for all known forms of life ranging from drinking, bathing, washing, living, manufacturing etc with chemical formula H2O.
Water is a free gift from nature but may require mechanical and electrical effort to be made available to the surface even before treatment is administered. The different sources of water include: open well, river, borehole etc. As more important as water is, drinking of untreated water is dangerous to life and has been responsible for loss of life in Africa and other third world countries; diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid are some of the known sicknesses from drinking untreated or poorly treated water.

Treatment of water varies for different purposes. Water can be treated for primary production processes in manufacturing companies, secondary packaging as well as utilities water for general purpose which may include drinking, cooking, bathing and washing.

It is noteworthy that various treatment techniques exist for water – ranging from primitive low cost to ultra-modern or mega and expensive water treatment method. The aim of water treatment, irrespective of cost of treatment is to ensure that water is fit for purpose – meeting regulatory requirements. These requirements cover among others: iron content, residual chlorine content, pH, coli form, bacteria, Total Dissolved Solid (TDS), turbidity etc. Each of the requirements is covered by specifications which have been set by regulatory agencies such as SON, NAFDAC, and WHO etc. For example, the residual chlorine for drinking water set by SON and NAFDAC is 0.20 to 0.25ppm while in GIaxoSmithKline Nigeria, the residual chlorine for Lucozade boost or Ribena manufacturing water is 0.10ppm, according to their water product monograph.

A practical approach to water treatment from a typical borehole is such that can be as simple as passing borehole water which is also known as raw water because of its untreated nature through an aerator where iron three is converted to iron two for easy filtering. The aerated water is then disinfected with oxidising agents such as chlorine which kills or reduces the micro organisms in the water. Potential hydrogen (pH) level of the water can then be boosted with the injection of sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide. The water is then passed through a sand filter which will remove greater amount of iron three (Fe) as well as all other forms of sediments. An activated carbon filter is then needed to reduce the residual chlorine already dozed into the raw water to the required level as well as polishing by absorption. An ultra violet light (UV) is also utilised at the downstream of the treated water line to act on any carryover micro organism; this has been proven overtime to have 99.9% potency on known micro organisms.

Finally, It is important to stress that simple boiling of water beyond boiling point of 100°C and filtering is a good form of killing macro organism in water though this may not have impact on the iron content, pH as well as TDS among others and may invariably not meet the requirements for potable or manufacturing water set by the regulatory agencies.