Water Treatment Process: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tiffany Hightower

Tiffany is a certified elementary school teacher. She has a B.A. in English, education certification and a master's degree in education from Central Michigan University.

Water has to be treated for it to be safe enough for it to come into your home. There are many steps that your town's water department goes through to ensure that your water is safe and healthy. Let's explore these steps.

What's a Water Treatment Process?

When you go to lakes, rivers, or streams, you will notice fish and other animals living in them. Unfortunately, you may also notice pollution such as trash in the water. All of this makes water unsafe to drink.

However, this is the same water that goes to your home and other buildings. In order to make it safe, it goes through a water treatment process, or cleaning and disinfection steps to make sure that it is safe enough for you to drink and use at your home.

Why is Water Treatment Important?

Water treatment is important because if water is not treated properly, it can cause you to get very sick. Water in rivers, lakes, and streams can be polluted with germs that must be removed before you drink or use it, so your city's water treatment center cleans and disinfects water before you use it. They also test the water many times to make sure it is safe. This allows you to receive safe and healthy water in your home and other places.

Steps of the Water Treatment Process

Water for your home and other buildings must come from freshwater sources instead of saltwater sources. The process of getting water from lakes, rivers, streams, and wells to your house looks like this:

Water Treatment Plant
Water Treatment Plant

1. Water from lakes, rivers, and/or streams are pumped into a pumping station to gather the water for treatment.

2. Water is moved through pipes to a water treatment facility and coagulation starts. Coagulants, which are like magnets, are placed in the water to cause dirt and particles to stick together. When they stick together, the process is called flocculation, and those clumps are known as 'flocs' for short. These flocs stuck together in the water makes the particles easy to remove.

3. The next step is called sedimentation. When the floc sticks together, it usually settles at the bottom of the water. At this point, the floc is removed to begin the cleaning process.

4. After that, the water is moved through a filtration system. It goes over rocks, sand, and other materials that filter the water, which means they catch and remove additional tiny particles from water. Filtration stops particles from floating around in the water.

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