If someone gave you a glass of cloudy water, would you drink it? Hopefully not. Whether it is dirt, coal ash or chemical contaminants, safe to drink groundwater is important.
Water on the planet Earth is a precious commodity. That sounds strange at first because everyone knows the Earth is covered in water, 70 percent actually! While that is true, if you tried to drink anything other than fresh, like salt water, you are asking for dehydration. Freshwater makes up three percent of the Earth’s available water, making salt water a whopping 97 percent! The Earth’s fresh water supply dwindles even further when you consider only one percent of Earth’s water is actually drinkable.
All those tidbits point to a common conclusion: the water that is left behind needs to be treated, recycled and preserved. Refusing to do so dwindles the already limited supply of drinkable water.
The importance of drinkable water becomes even more important considering 50 percent of citizens in the United States rely on drinking ground water, which is 95 percent of our overall reserve of freshwater. Imagine drinking a glass of water, knowing that 70 percent of industrial waste may have been a neighbor in your glass. The United States has seen 80 percent of waste sites contaminate ground water sources with hazardous materials.
Luckily, groundwater treatments have it covered! Long story short, it is a process that attempts to remove contaminants from a source of water. Wastewater can see an 85 to 95 percent removal rating before it gets further disinfected and recycled through local waterways.
There is no one process that does the job the best. In fact, several processes will be used in conjunction with one another for clean water. A common process you might hear is the use of chlorine for its bacteria fighting properties; sent to a basin for particle separation, like when you mix water and oil, they separate and finally sent through sand filters. Lime is used at the end of the process for the sake of the pH balance.
While there are several processes available, state to state, and even town to town follow their own regulations. They are not perfect, however. If you have ever heard of a “boil alert” it is because a spike of contaminants were discovered that the process did not entirely catch.