Potable Water

Bookmark added to your notes.
View Notes


In earlier days people used to store their water in earthen pots in order to keep the water clean and cold and also in brass vessels for healthy living. Afterward, People started using filters and now it’s the age of water purifiers. Still, there are many places in the world where people don’t have access to “potable drinking water”.  In many small places, the woman in rural areas has to walk an average of 25 kilometers or more to fetch potable water. In developing countries like Africa, access to a potable water supply is still very difficult.  Now the question arises what is “potability” or what potable water is?

What is Potable Water?

 Potable water is defined as the water that can be considered safe for drinking and can be used for food preparation. It is filtered and treated properly and is finally free from all the contaminants and harmful bacteria. Purification of water can be done by various processes like using UV filtered water purifier, reverse osmosis, etc. The potable water made available by the factories can be considered potable? Is the water really free from water pollutants? 

The water which is not potable or fit for drinking is termed raw water and is mostly from the sources like rivers, lakes, and groundwater. The water coming from factories can not be considered potable this is why a majority of the Indian households prefer to boil the water before drinking. The non-potable water can also taste normal just like potable water, but it can cause serious health issues. Now we will discuss some potable water treatment processes.

[Image will be Uploaded Soon]

Different Methods to Make Potable Water

Water purification is the process of removing undesirable chemicals, biological contaminants, suspended solids from the water. 

  • Boiling:  

The cheapest, safest, and easiest way to purify water is the boiling method of water purification.  Boiling is sufficient to kill pathogenic bacteria and viruses but it cannot remove all the heavy contaminants.

  • Filtration: 

In the method of filtration water treatment, solid particles are entirely removed from the water. This process eliminates both large and small compounds, dangerous contaminants that cause diseases with a simple and quick process. This method uses chemical and physical processes to purify water and make it safe for human consumption.  Generally, two types of filters can be found in the market. Some include carbon filters which remove the bacteria and others are those which use chemicals like iodine for the treatment of water. The major drawback in process of filtration, filters are very heavy and they require frequent replacement, and are very expensive. Nowadays people prefer potable water filters.

  • Distillation: 

It is a water purification method that utilizes heat to collect pure water in the form of vapor. This method is effective because water has a lower boiling point than other contaminants and disease-causing elements found in water. Water is heated until it attains its boiling point. It is then left at the boiling point until it vaporizes. This vapor is directed into a condenser to cool down. Upon cooling, the vapor is reversed into liquid water that is clean and safe for drinking. Other substances having higher boiling points are left as sediments in the container.

  • Reverse Osmosis: 

Reverse Osmosis is used to remove a large majority of contaminants from water by pushing the water under pressure through a semi-permeable membrane. This method is used by water purifier companies and for the purification of seawater.

Did you know?

Solar Distillation: It is the process of using energy from the sunlight to separate freshwater from salts or other contaminants(It can be used to remove salts from water). This system is suitable for remote, arid, or semiarid regions for small capacities, they are cost-effective and easier to operate and maintain.

Potable Water meters are used to measure the volume of water used by residential and commercial building units that are supplied with water by a public water supply system.

[Image will be Uploaded Soon]

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question: Is Potable Water Safe to Drink?

Answer: Potable means it's safe to drink. Potable water is suitable for drinking, cooking, and personal use. Non-potable water is not safe and is not fit for human consumption. The main source of potable water is surface water, collected rainwater, and groundwater.

Question: What is the pH Range of Safe Drinking Water?

Answer: pH of drinking water ranges from 6.5 to 8.5 and for groundwater system it ranges from 6 to 8.5.

Question: Which Method is Used for the Purification of Water for Chemical Purposes?

Answer: Distillation is used for the purification of water for chemical purposes. Impurities are removed by selective boiling and condensation process.