How to make water

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Recently took a tour of the newest water treatment plant on the Kelani River.  I realized I talk about water a lot, but most people don’t really know the process.  To put it simply, it is essentially just filtering and disinfecting.  Most of the technology is well established (meaning old), but is quite effective.  Here are the (very) general steps.

最近建設終了したケラニア浄水場を訪問した。その時思ったのが、「自分は水について色々話すが、処理方法なんて一般知識じゃないな」と。なので、ケラニア浄水場を使って簡単に紹介しま~す。世界のどこでも大体こんな感じかなと思う。

The Kelani River.  Typical river with moderate to high turbidity and hardness.

The Kelani River. Typical river with moderate to high turbidity and hardness.

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River water enters the plant at 8000 cubic meters per hour. That’s 8,000,000 liters every 60 minutes (or about 3 Olympic size pools).

See how the water gets clearer from Right to Left? Right - In a process called flocculation, chemicals are added to make the suspended particles clump together Left - The clumps become big and heavy and sink to the bottom

See how the water gets clearer from Left to Right?
Left- In a process called flocculation, chemicals are added to the raw water to make the suspended particles clump together.
Right – The clumps become big and heavy and sink to the bottom, leaving clear water.

Clarification - The clumps sink, and the clear water is skimmed off the top.

Clarification – The  clear water is skimmed off the top.

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The clarified water is gathered…

From here, the water is sent to more filters, chlorine disinfection and finally to a storage tank for piped delivery.  I have no pictures of the filter since it was build underground at this particular plant.  A plant like this would typically cost about $50 million to $100 million.

この後、更にフィルタ処理や塩素殺菌を受け貯水タンクに送られ、上水道により供給される。このような浄水場は大体$5千万~$1億位する。

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