Advanced Water Purification Processes

The purification processes

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.

Processes

1. Microfiltration
The recycled water first goes through microfiltration, an initial filtration process where water is pumped through tubes filled with tiny membranes. Each membrane is made up of hollow fibers, perforated with holes 1/300th the width of a human hair! Solids, bacteria, protozoa, and some viruses are removed from the water as it is drawn through the tubes.

2. Reverse Osmosis
The water then goes through reverse osmosis where it is forced under high pressure through membranes with holes so small that a water molecule is almost the only substance that can pass through. As a result, constituents such as salts, viruses, and most contaminants of emerging concern (e.g. pharmaceuticals, personal care products and pesticides) cannot pass through the membranes and are left behind. This is the same process that is used by some bottled water companies, baby food manufacturers and for kidney dialysis.

3. Ultraviolet Light
Now the water is very clean but as a further safety back-up, the water is sent through ultraviolet light to break down any remaining trace organic compounds. Ultraviolet light is a powerful disinfection process that creates water of a near-distilled quality.

View the interactive World Map to see where these processes are used globally.