Skip to main content

About this free course

Become an OU student

Download this course

Share this free course

Potable water treatment
Potable water treatment

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

5.4 Summary

After passing through a treatment works, water flows via transmission mains to service reservoirs which act to even out variations in consumption during a 24-hour demand period. It is then taken by distribution mains from the service reservoirs to the consumers. The head of water necessary for flow is provided by positioning the service reservoir at the correct level or by pumping. A pumped pipeline is called a rising main. The size of mains pipelines depends on the quantity and flow rate of water carried. The construction material depends on stresses imposed during use and other factors (size, ground conditions, etc.).

The video you are about to see shows many of the treatment processes which you have studied, together with some new ones, such as the Pulsator. Please watch the video then answer the following questions.

Video, click to watch 'Potable Water Treatment Plant'

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 1
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Video 1
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Self-assessment questions

SAQ 31

How are the pathogens in the reservoir of water inactivated?


By UV radiation from sunlight.

SAQ 32

What is the coagulant used to bring the dead algal cells together?


Ferric sulphate.

SAQ 33

Why does the water have to be softened?


Because hard water forms scale in pipes and home appliances. This eventually leads to blockage of pipes, and reduced efficiency. Hard water also results in scum formation, and does not lather easily.

SAQ 34

What happens to the dirty water produced from cleaning of the rapid gravity sand filters?


It goes to lagoons where the solids settle out. The supernatant is then sent back to the reservoir.

SAQ 35

How is the granular activated carbon regenerated?


By burning off the adsorbed organics.

SAQ 36

What are the various ways in which ozone is used in the treatment plan?


It is used for several purposes: to kill the algae, to breakdown pesticides, to oxidize any trace organics, to kill bacteria and viruses, and to destroy carcinogens, and eliminate odour and taste-conferring compounds.