2. Water Treatment

Comparision of raw water and treated water

Extracted water, whether groundwater or surface water, must be treated in some way mostly, so it can be used as drinking water. Often the so-called untreated water contains undesirable substances such as suspended matter, bacteria, viruses, fertilizers residues or heavy metals. Depending on the ingredients, which must be removed, also the method of water treatment changes.
Depending on the ingredients, which must be removed, also the method of water treatment changes.
Even extracted groundwater is not always drinkable. Depending on the rock formation in which the groundwater is located, it may have undesirable ingredients, for example

  • high concentration of flour which causes flourosis
  • manganese causes yellow brown colouration but it is not harmful
  • mark and shell limesone cause hard water

Surface water need not always be extracted with expensive equipment, but can be brought in jerrycans from a lake or a river. Surface water can e.g. be contaminated with the following ingredients:

  • feaces
  • eggs from mosquitos
  • water snails

Even if the water has no turbidity and thus looks clear and clean, caution is advised.
In the tropics, pathogens are often transmitted through water. Therefore, water should be boiled at least when no other treatment is applied.

For the tropics, there are suitable water treatment methods that are easy to handle and are somewhat technical. They are explained in more detail on the following pages.

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