3 minutes reading time (522 words)

How Does Water Get into Your Glass?

Have you ever wondered how the water you drink, cook with, and bathe in actually gets to you house? It is a fascinating process that starts with, of course, WATER!

Many people take water for granted and don’t think about the complex process that takes place before it gets to their home. There are two ways your home can get water – a well, typically found in homes located in rural areas, or public water supply.

Public water systems acquire the water they distribute to customers from two sources: surface water and ground water. Surface water is, just as it sounds, water that is on the surface such as reservoirs, rivers, lakes, and streams. Ground water is found deep underground and is accessed by drilling and pumping it to the surface. Western Virginia Water Authority uses both of these methods to provide drinking water to the region around our Roanoke, Virginia office, but there are hundreds of similar public water authorities across the nation.

Once the water is retrieved, it must go through a water treatment process in order to be safe to drink and use, in general here are the steps it takes to make it to your faucet!

  1. Coagulation & Flocculation: These are the first two steps in the water treatment process. Chemicals are added in order to make dirt, and other dissolved particles, bind together to form larger particles that are easier to filter out later in the process. These larger particles are called floc (flocculation is the process of making these larger particles).
  2. Sedimentation: The larger floc particles settle to the bottom of the water supply. The process of the particles settling is sedimentation.
  3. Filtration: Once the particles have settled, the water above passes through numerous filters of varying sizes to remove dissolved particles such as bacteria, dust, parasites and more.
  4. Disinfection: Now that filtration is complete, chemicals (such as chlorine or chloramine) are added to kill any parasites, impurities, bacteria, or viruses that made it through the filtration process. This also protects the water from germs as it travels through pipes to your house.

Water pipes that distribute the water run from the water treatment plants, underneath roads, sidewalks, and yards to each home – these are called water mains. Some of the water that is treated is stored in large tanks or water towers - you know, the ones you see riding down the highway with the name of the county or city on them. These provide reserve capacity emergency water supply in case of a water main leak, fire catastrophe, or other event.

Once all of those steps are complete and the water has made its way through the water mains, into your pipes, and to your faucet, you are able to enjoy some refreshing H2O. Isn’t it amazing how many steps go into providing something we think to be so simple as water from the faucet?

While many people can access water from their faucet, the reality is that there are some who do not have access to safe drinking water. At SERCAP, we are dedicated to providing solutions to water and wastewater problems. 

water infographic

Sea Level Rise & the Impact on Regional Water Syst...
SERCAP Seeks Certified Housing Counselor
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Search Blog

Latest Blogs

30 November 2018
Stories
Here at SERCAP, our work wouldn’t be possible without a strong team of dedicated individuals serving our community. Beth Pusha is one of our amazing directors, and has been serving with SERCAP for an amazing 26 years!Beth is our Director of Housing &...
30 November 2018
Stories
Beginning in 2016, SERCAP partnered with BB&T Bank to conduct a series of Focus Groups across the Commonwealth of Virginia as a crucial part of SERCAP’s Biannual Community Needs Assessment process. The Biannual Community Needs Assessment allows S...
30 November 2018
Stories
Currently, SERCAP’s Housing Department working to get a new project approved in Pulaski County, in order to help a low-income, elderly, disabled woman and her daughter to replace their rotting deck. The rotting deck is connected to the main entrance ...
27 November 2018
Uncategorized
In our state series, we are highlighting our favorite things about each of the seven states that we serve. We started with Virginia, and up next is the Old Line State, otherwise known as Maryland!How much do you know about Maryland? Most people know ...
12 November 2018
Uncategorized
From the stunning marsh preserves in Delaware to the scenic beaches of Florida, our team at SERCAP serves seven states along the east coast of the United States. These states include Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georg...