Water Treatment Methods

Water Treatment Methods;- Any procedure that enhances the quality of water to make it suitable for a certain end use is referred to as water treatment. The final use could be for drinking, irrigation, maintaining river flow, water recreation, or a variety of other things, including being safely disposed of back into the environment.

In order to make the water suitable for the intended end use, water treatment involves removing pollutants and unwanted components or reducing their concentration. Human health depends on this procedure, which also enables drinking and irrigation use benefits. Read more

Water Treatment
Water Treatment

Water Treatment Methods

The following are common methods for treating contaminated water (Purification)

  1. Filtration
  2. Disinfection
  3. Boiling

1.  Filtration

  • Purification through sand reduces the bacterial content of the water by 85% to 90%
  • The two types of filters commonly used in community water supply are:
  • Slow sand filter
  • Rapid (Pressure) filter

Slow filter

  • Requires little operational maintenance skills
  • Applicable in rural areas
  • Needs  attention regularly because it is liable to become a breeding place for bacteria and water contamination

Home-made sand filter

  • Filtration which is done when raw water passes through a fixed depth of arranged sand medium
  • All the suspended matter in water is dropped by the first few top layers of the sand grain
  • The clean water is collected at the bottom of the medium
  • It can be used in containers like barrels of steel or concrete or clay pots
  • The home-made sand filter can be used effectively in combination with chlorination

2. Disinfection

  • It is killing of the organisms causing diseases
  • There are different methods used to disinfect water supplies, e.g. chlorination, silver treatment, ultra-violet radiation

Water Chlorination

  • It is the final safe guard of the quality of water
  • The Chlorine should be applied in the water system in such a way that good mixing of the chlorine with water is ensured

3. Boiling

  • Simplest way to treat a small quantity of water for at least 20 minutes
  • This will kill the organism and render the water harmless
  • Boiled water is tasteless but it is a safe rule to follow that all drinking water should be boiled to disinfect it

Key Points  

  • Water purification can be done by boiling, disinfection and filtration
  • A properly constructed and carefully maintained sand filter can remove most of the substances that cause turbidity and odour
  • It is important to prevent water from contamination


  • Basset W.H. (1992).  Clay’s Handbook of Environmental Health (16th ed).  London: Chapman and Hall
  • Nyamwaya, D. (1994): A Guide to Health Promotion through Water and Sanitation, Nairobi: AMREF
  • Subi, S. (2008).Environmental Health Hand Book for Clinical Officer Students. Kilosa, Tanzania.
  • Wood, C. H. (1997). Community Health (2nded). Nairobi: AMREF