Clean drinking water is a resource which is considered incredibly important around the world and a lot of people are clamoring to gain access to it at a time when access to such water is threatened globally. 0.5% of the Earth’s water is available fresh water. Access to fresh and clean water for drinking, agriculture and a whole other host of human activities is threatened by a number of factors in the 21st century such as global warming, encroachment and contamination of water tables. Water sanitation is an important aspect that needs to be considered when taking into account water availability for future generations.
Sanitation is a byword which refers to public health processes concerned with the treatment of water and disposal of human excreta and waste. Water sanitation is an important public health function which is concerned with preventing the spread of diseases and protecting human health. Being granted access to clean, drinking water is every child’s right and not only helps them thrive, but also gives them a healthier start in life. The consequences of unsafe water treatment processes can be deadly, with almost 700 children under the age of 5 dying every year due to lack of proper treatment conditions.
Water treatment is any process that is used to improve the quality of water for a specific end-use. Physical processes are initially used to remove contaminants present in the water, by methods such as settling and filtration. The former is concerned with allowing the contaminants to settle at the bottom of the container in which the contaminated water is present. Alum is used to hasted the process. The latter is more concerned with removing the contaminants by means of a sieve or a suitable filtration method.
Chemical filtration processes include pre-chlorination, which is used to reduce algae control and arrest any biological growth that may show signs of worsening. This is primarily done before the water is dumped into any water body to prevent any contamination from spreading. Chemicals such as chlorine and ozone and ultraviolet light are also used to kill bacteria.
Biological treatment methods primarily utilize microorganisms to breakdown hazardous contaminants to a less toxic state. Technologies involved with water treatment include desalination, which involves the treatment of saline water to yield fresh water.
With the difficulty in accessing fresh water becoming more and more of an acute problem, portable water treatment solutions are also being brought into the fray. They can vary from using a simple disinfectant tablet in a bottle to more complex machinery brought into remote areas around the globe.
Water sanitation and treatment plans need to be revamped for future needs, with acute shortages in fresh water playing a big role in how future technologies may have to adapt. Water is the source of life, and to live in a society where clean water is difficult to access even for a small child would be very dire straits, which could pose terrible consequences for the future of the human race.