How Purified Water Works
Currently, recycled water is used in the county for irrigation and industrial purposes. The new purification center will purify water to such levels that it will be suitable for a variety of future uses, including the potential future expansion of drinking water supplies.
In this initial process, treated wastewater is forced through filtration membrane modules made up of thousands of hollow fibers, similar to straws. These fibers have very fine pores in the sides that are 0.1 micron in diameter or about 1/300th the width of human hair. As the water is drawn through the pores into the center of the fibers, solids, bacteria, protozoa and some viruses are filtered out of water.
2. Reverse Osmosis
Reverse Osmosis forces water under high pressure through membrane sheets with holes so small that a water molecule is almost the only substance that can pass through. The process removes constituents such as salts, viruses and most “contaminants of emerging concern,” such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products and pesticides.
3. Ultraviolet Light
Now the water is very clean, but as a further safety back-up, the water is sent through chambers that emit strong ultraviolet light to inactivate any remaining viruses and break down some of the remaining trace organic compounds. Ultraviolet light is a powerful disinfection process that creates water of very high quality. The technique is often used to sterilize medicines, foods and fruit juices.
View the interactive World Map to see where these processes are used globally.