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Life depends on water. Drinking water is prepared from underground or surface resources of natural water. In both cases, this water undergoes chemical treatment and disinfection. Many European drinking water plants adjust water’s hardness as an additional improvement step. Drinking water compliant lime products are used effectively in the chemical treatment and hardness control of drinking water.
Global drinking water resources are limited. In Europe, pure underground or mountain water resources are insufficient to meet needs, so surface water is used as a primary source. European drinking water standards prescribe strict physical, chemical and microbiological parameters for drinking water. Natural surface water must undergo physical and chemical treatment to comply with these requirements. Drinking water hardness is adjusted, in order to protect piping and to control the secondary impacts of hardness on water and wastewater management.
Lime and ground limestone or dolomite are used in several steps of drinking water treatment.
- Suspended particles removal after coagulation by the combined effect of lime and iron or aluminium salt.
- Chemical removal of iron and manganese from underground water at alkali pH, adjusted with lime.
- Drinking water hardness control with two opposite processes:
- Softening to reduce detergents and washing powder consumption;
- Remineralization to protect steel piping from corrosion and to improve sensory properties of water.
Lime is applied in both these processes, to influence the carbonate balance. Ground limestone or dolomite are also used as a reactor fill in alternative techniques for carbonate control.
Carmeuse has developed the AquaCalco® ‘W’ product range specifically for drinking water treatment, where compliance with EN 12518 is essential. This specialized range also includes pellet reactor compliant products, high concentrated ready-made milk-of-lime and extremely low aluminium grade.