Equipment Used by Water Refilling Stations
By Puriry Makandi
Demand for clean water has seen the popularity of water refilling stations grow remarkably. This may be attributed to the fact that household water purifiers and bottled water are expensive, and water refilling stations are seen as more environmentally friendly than disposable water bottles. Water refilling stations run by private individuals offer a cheaper and more convenient solution to the public's drinking water requirements. The equipment necessary to set up a water refilling station is not hard to find, and the cost may vary according to the quality and make of the equipment.
Multimedia Sediment Filter
This type of filter has replaced the conventional sand filter for water refilling stations. This is a tank made from fiber-reinforced plastic. It removes sediments such as sand and various other particles from the water through a process known as depth filtration and backwash. Whereas the sand filter was time-consuming and offered very slow flow rates, the multimedia sediment filter delivers high-quality filtered water at much faster flow rates.
Active Carbon Filter
The main function of the carbon filter is to remove any foul taste, odor and color caused by organic chemicals. This is also done through backwash in the same manner as the multimedia sediment filter. Most carbon filters have filter bodies made from fiberglass.
Water Softener Tank
The water softener tank removes hardness from water. It replaces the hard minerals in the water with soft minerals through ion exchange. Soft water tastes better and generally is preferred for drinking. It also is healthier because the hard minerals have been removed.
Reverse Osmosis Membrane
This typically is the most expensive unit in the entire station. Its primary function is to remove all inorganic minerals, bacteria and viruses while retaining the water's oxygen content. This is done by reverse osmosis, which is also known as hyper-filtration. During this process, water is forced to pass through a 0.0001 micron semi-permeable by water pressure.
This is used to further improve the taste of the water. Depending on the type of water refilling station, one or two carbon blocks may be used. If two carbon blocks are used, then the first one is used to remove any remaining organic contaminants that the water may still have, while the second is used to improve the taste of the water.
Water treatment stations use this machine to make sure any germs and disease-causing micro-organisms have been eliminated from the water by emitting ultraviolet rays as the water is being passed through a reaction chamber.
Water in the station is passed through an ozone generator to prevent the growth of bacteria in the product tank and to prolong the shelf life of the water.
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Puriry Makandi has been writing since 2008. She works as a writer for Kitabu Publishers, where she writes features and news articles, among other assignments. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Egerton University.