By Chief Environmental, Safety, and Sustainability Officer Christopher Crockett
Each day, Aqua takes pride in protecting and providing Earth’s most essential resource, and the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the importance of having access to safe and reliable drinking water. As people continue to spend more time at home practicing social distancing, Aqua is reminded how customers depend on the continued delivery of safe drinking water. That’s why, in partnership with the American Water Works Association, Aqua is proud to recognize Drinking Water Week (May 3 – May 9) and the critical role drinking water plays in customer’s daily lives.
This observance provides an opportunity for the company to share its standard business operations with homeowners, which include treatment procedures that remove or inactivate viruses, including COVID-19, from water supplies and sources. Aqua knows customers are not only drinking water, but they’re also using it to wash their hands multiple times a day, and they expect it to be safe and reliable.
Understanding the water treatment process
Most of us only see water coming out of the tap as we wash our hands or grab a glass for a drink, and many don’t know the treatment process and filtration the water went through before Aqua could distribute it to homes and businesses. It’s important to understand the water treatment process and the comprehensive steps our company takes to ensure our water can be used.
For more than 100 years, Aqua has studied and treated different types of viruses, and the company takes its responsibility seriously. Aqua’s equipment monitors drinking water 24/7, down to the minutes and seconds of every day and in 2019 alone, Aqua’s Bryn Mawr laboratory performed 308,000 analyses of drinking water.
But before the team analyzes any samples, the water treatment process starts at the source. Most of the water Aqua provides comes from a ground well or a larger water source such as a river, stream or lake. The water treatment process starts through sedimentation flocculation, which removes bigger particles from the water and adds chlorine. Next, the water runs through a filtration system, similar to picking up sand at a beach and having it run through your hands. Once the water goes through this process, there is an extended period of time where it sits in contact with chlorine and, on some occasions, ultraviolet light, which is disinfection similar to the sun.
Once the water has been in contact with chlorine, usually for multiple hours, it is then distributed to storage tanks or water towers and on to customers through pipes and pumps. Consumers should know that Aqua’s water has chlorine present all the way to the tap and the company is constantly monitoring distribution systems, including around homes and business, to see that chlorine is detected.
Delivering a standard of excellence
Aqua continually works to meet all state and federal safety requirements for drinking water and will continue to uphold this standard of excellence. Aqua is proud to provide safe and reliable drinking water to customers each day and highlight the great work of Aqua teams during Drinking Water Week.