Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest public health information from CDC.

Get the latest research information from NIH.

Water Treatment

Water Treatment

graphic of kids playing in a blowup pool

We take baths with clean water. We drink clean water. We wash our clothes and food with clean water. Water we use every day comes from streams, ponds, rivers, and other natural sources. These water sources can become polluted. Mother Nature does her part to clean the water through the water cycle. But the water cycle can’t keep up with the pollution that people and animals create.

In the United States, we treat drinking water before it comes to our tap so that we don’t get sick from using polluted water. We also treat water after we use it and before returning it to the environment. We do this to remove pollutants so that they don’t harm our waterways and the plants and animals that live there. All used water goes through wastewater treatment, whether it was used in homes, on farms, or in industry.

Some content courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.

red crayon coloring a piece of paper
Other stuff you might like ...
What's That Word
Scientific Dictionary
Go!
For kids
Did you know wastewater spends anywhere from 8 to 16 hours in a water treatment plant before it’s ready to be returned to the environment?
Back to Top