What Is The Most Important Step in Water Treatment?

Water is recycled continuously through different systems, both in nature and through our towns and cities. Before running from our taps, it must be thoroughly cleaned. This rids it of anything that may be dangerous to our health. This process involves several key steps. Filtration is the most important step in water treatment, as much of the time, a filtration system can work to rid the water of a lot of contaminants by itself. Some filtration systems can easily remove all unwanted materials from the water.

What Is The Most Important Step in Water Treatment?

Although filtration occurs after important processes such as coagulation, flocculation, and sedimentation, it is the most important step. Essentially, these earlier steps get rid of the larger contaminants in the water, some of which you can see. In larger systems, this allows easier processing of the water through the filtration stage.

Filtration Systems

Reverse Osmosis

A reverse osmosis water treatment system uses water pressure to force water through a semipermeable membrane. This allows the water through without allowing any dissolved solids present in the liquid to pass through. Reverse osmosis is capable of removing suspended as well as dissolved solids.

Activated Carbon

This highly porous material works by absorbing the unwanted substances in the water. It is often used in municipal water treatment after a physical barrier of sand and gravel. It is effective at cleaning and purifying drinking water.

Ultra Violet Filter

UV is used to kill viruses and bacteria as they absorb the light. However, this system will need to be used alongside others as the methods will not work on substances like chlorine and lead.

How Do We Get Clean Water?

There are many stages to cleaning water before it is safe to use in your home. To give a better oversight on why filtration is so important, here is an oversight in the stages of water treatment:

Coagulation, Flocculation, and Sedimentation

These early stages of water filtration allow the removal of suspended particles (rather than dissolved particles). First, an introduction of charged chemicals helps the particles clump together. Next, the water is left to settle, allowing those clumps to fall to the bottom. The longer the liquid rests, the more effective this process will be. This can prevent filtration systems from becoming clogged but cannot clean water effectively by itself.


This allows the removal of the smaller, dissolved particles in the water such as dust, parasites, chemicals, algae, fungi, viruses, and bacteria. The type of filtration used will largely depend on the specific operation and on which scale you are cleaning the water supply.


The disinfection stage is the addition of chemicals to the water to eliminate any organic matter. This step provides an extra precaution, in the case that any bacteria remained after the filtration stage. It is also helpful in reducing any contamination as the water travels through tanks, pipes, and taps before being used or consumed. Whilst important, it is an additional safety measure after filtration.

Any water used for cleaning or drinking must be filtered properly. Without this, the particles present in water can make us very ill. Many even prefer to filter water even further after municipal treatment, to remove harsh minerals that remain. The more purified your water, the better it is for your health and wellbeing.