PATIENT CARE

Water purification at home : Must know facts for everyone

The WHO estimates that 94% of these diarrheal disease cases are preventable by access to safe water. Simple techniques for treating water at home, such as chlorination and filters  could save a number of lives each year. These are some  must know facts about water purification at home .

World Health Organization (WHO) reports that  1.1 billion people lack access to an improved drinking water supply. Ninety percent  of the 4 billion annual cases of diarrheal disease are attributed to unsafe water and inadequate sanitation and hygiene, while 1.8 million people die from diarrheal disease each year.  Simple techniques for treating water at home, such as chlorination, filters,and storing it in safe containers could save a huge number of lives each year.[2] Reducing deaths from waterborne diseases is a major public health goal in developing countries 

 

As per wikipedia ” Water purification is the process of removing undesirable chemicals, biological contaminants, suspended solids and gases from water. Purifying water may reduce the concentration of particulate matter including parasitesbacteriaalgaevirusesfungi, as well as reducing the concentration of a range of dissolved and particulate matter. The goal is to produce water fit for for human consumption (drinking water).”

 

1. Sediment Filtration

Fit for household having water supply having lot of sand, dirt and other solid waste. It is seen in those locations where the water supply is derived from larger , open water storage tanks, which in turn receive water from polluted stream, or lakes.

This filter traps relatively large particles which may be present in the water-like dirt, sand, slime and grit. It is meant to filter large volume of water entire home.

It filters in two stages

1st Stage: — removes dust, particles, and rust. 
2nd Stage: gets rid of unpleasant chlorine, tastes and odours, cloudiness and colours

2. Water “softening,” ion exchange

Fit for household having water supply which is hard. Hard water results in deposition of calcium scales in the pipes utensils.

Ion exchange provides  removal of the metals responsible for pipe scaling and deposits. The process also removes various heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, iron, and cadmium, which have been associated with health concerns.

3. Granular Activated Carbon adsorption: 

Fit for household having smaller amount of  requirement and filtration is possible without electricity.

a form of activated carbon with a high surface area, adsorbs many compounds including many toxic compounds. Water passing through activated carbon is commonly used in municipal regions with organic contamination, taste or odors. Household filters for drinking water sometimes contain silver as metallic silver nanoparticle. If water is held in the carbon block for longer periods, microorganisms can grow inside which results in fouling and contamination. Silver nanoparticles are excellent anti-bacterial material and they can decompose toxic halo-organic compounds such as pesticides into non-toxic organic products.

4. Ultraviolet disinfection

Ultraviolet light (UV) is very effective at inactivating cysts, in low turbidity water, or low concentration of solid particles. UV light’s disinfection  is not effective as turbidity increases.

 

Ultraviolet light acts as a powerful sterilizing agent which destroys the genetic material within microorganisms, eliminating the possibility of bacterial or viral reproduction and proliferation . The dead organisms  are captured and removed during the prefiltering before the reverse osmosis purification process.

5. Reverse Osmosis

It is most preferred method of household water purification.

In reverse osmosis, high pressure is used to force water across a membrane while impurities are left behind. . Only the pure water is able to cross the membrane; even the dissolved impurities which cannot be removed by conventional filtration are captured and eliminated by reverse osmosis purification system.

Chlorine disinfection

The most common disinfection method involves some form of chlorine or its compounds such as chloramine or chlorine dioxide. Chlorine is a strong oxidant that rapidly kills many harmful micro-organisms. Because chlorine is a toxic gas, there is a danger of a release associated with its use. All forms of chlorine are widely used, despite their respective drawbacks. One drawback is that chlorine from any source reacts with natural organic compounds in the water to form potentially harmful chemical by-products. Although chlorine is effective in killing bacteria, it has limited effectiveness against protozoa that form cysts in water (Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium, both of which are pathogenic).

Scientific studies report that most individuals (81%) say that they “learned something new” regarding their health, the last time they went online. The majority (80%) of people found the information through a search engine as reliable.

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