What Are the Steps of a Water Treatment

What Are the Steps of a Water Treatment

Water treatment plants are critical for a municipality so that clean water can be supplied to the local community. The process of water purification in water plants requires specialists to ensure safe and effective operation.

The whole procedure occurs in stages and involves a combination of technical processes.


The first water treatment step is screening, which is when water from lakes, rivers or the ground passes through a screen to filter out waste as it enters a treatment facility.

Water often passes through multiple screens before proceeding through the rest of the filtration system at the water treatment plant. First, it may flow through a coarse screen, which filters out large debris like plants, trash and other solid items. After that, water may pass through a fine screen, which removes smaller solid objects in the water, like chunks of sediment.

Chemical addition

At this point, chemicals are now added to encourage smaller particles of suspended matter to clump together and form “floc”. The chemicals used to achieve this purpose are called coagulants and there are many different products available.

What Are the Steps of a Water Treatment


Adding these coagulating agents during these water treatment plant steps requires careful administration by qualified engineers, as measurements of the chemicals need to be precise. Quality standards also need to be met as part of the regulatory processes within water treatment plants. This includes regular maintenance of the system by qualified engineers.


During the third stage of water treatment, floc gets big and heavy enough that it sinks to the bottom of the water tank, according to the CDC.

This is an important step in the treatment of water for a town’s supply because it helps further clear out any unwelcome debris.


With the larger particles taken out of the water, it must now be filtered through a variety of media such as sand, gravel or granular activated carbon to remove the smaller unwanted particles which still persist.


Once clarified water leaves the sedimentation basins in the treatment plant, chlorine is added during the disinfection water treatment stage. After the chlorine wastewater treatment occurs, ammonia follows which forms chloramine. This chloramine disinfected water passes through a further set of basins to complete the disinfection process.


The water is now essentially ready for public consumption, but must be stored until demand for it surfaces. It is most commonly stored in underground or overground tanks. As well as drinking water, there must also be a stored supply of water for emergencies such as fires.


The water is finally sent to homes and businesses around the country via a sophisticated system of pumps, tanks, pipelines, hydrants, valves and meters.

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