What’s water sanitization?

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Water sanitization is crucial for safe drinking, cooking, and bathing. Over a billion people worldwide lack access to clean water, leading to life-threatening illnesses. Common methods of water treatment include flocculation, filtration, adsorption, ion exchange, and disinfection. Boiling and adding bleach can also make water safer for use. Well water may require testing and filtration.

Water sanitization is the process of cleaning water to make it safe for drinking, bathing, cooking, and other uses. Clean water is important for people in every country because harmful substances in water can cause illness and even death. For example, untreated water can contain viruses, bacteria and other dangerous substances that pose health risks to those who consume it.

While people in developed countries may take access to clean water for granted, there are many people who lack clean water. In fact, there are over a billion people worldwide who lack daily access to clean water. Additionally, every year, millions of people face life-threatening illnesses that can be linked to unsafe drinking water and other sanitation problems.

In developed countries, people are usually free from water sanitation concerns. Municipal treatment plants take care of disinfecting water before it flows through municipal pipes and into homes and businesses. However, those who live in areas without water treatment facilities and those who drink well water can still experience hand hygiene issues.

Common water treatment methods include flocculation, filtration, adsorption, ion exchange, and disinfection. Flocculation involves using a substance to combine smaller particles into larger particles and then separate the larger particles from the water; filtration involves filtering out particles such as microorganisms, clay, organic matter, and some metals from the water. Adsorption requires the use of activated carbon to adsorb and remove organic contaminants, unwanted colors and flavors. Ion exchange occurs by exchanging positively and negatively charged versions of molecules called ions and then eliminating unwanted ions; it can remove some inorganic contaminants and can be used to displace arsenic, nitrogen and uranium from water. Disinfection is another process used to treat water, which is to kill microbes using chlorine, chloramine, ultraviolet radiation and ozone or other disinfectants.

Those with well water can employ water filters to clean contaminants from their water when needed. However, well water can become so contaminated that new wells have to be dug. Tests can help determine if well water is safe to drink.

In the absence of water sanitizing chemicals and filters, there are a few methods of cleaning water that can make it safer for use. However, using these methods may not make your water completely safe. A popular method of purifying water is boiling; it involves heating the water to boiling point and then letting it simmer for several minutes. Another option is to add 1/8 teaspoon (616 milliliters) of bleach to 1 gallon (3.78 liters) of water and let it sit for 30 minutes. If your water is cloudy rather than clear, it’s best to use 1/4 teaspoon (1.23 milliliters) per 1 gallon (3.78 liters) of water.

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