Water Conditioning

Definition - What does Water Conditioning mean?

Water conditioning is a method of removing or altering minerals, chemicals and contaminants from a water source.

Water conditioning counteracts hardness in water to prevent a buildup of limescale. Although water conditioning is technically a broader term for any process that changes the characteristics of water, it is also widely used to mean water softening. Water conditioning may also be used when referring to water filtration or purification to improve the taste and potability of drinking water.

Most water is conditioned for human consumption, but water purification may also be utilized for a variety of other purposes, such as industrial applications.

Corrosionpedia explains Water Conditioning

Water purification is the technique of removing undesirable chemicals, materials and biological contaminants from raw water.

Water conditioning improves corrosion control in process and boiler water through:

  • pH control
  • Oxygen control
  • Downtime and storage control

Benefits of water conditioning include:

  • Reduction of scaling
  • Reduction of impurities that affect taste and odor
  • Improving water quality
  • Reduction of operating costs

Hard water causes scale buildup in hot water pipes and heaters. This scale acts as an insulating material, which reduces heat transmission, wastes fuel and often causes heating element failure. Water conditioning reduces these hard-water problems.

There are many techniques for changing the characteristics of water, including:

  • Physical processes such as filtration and sedimentation
  • Biological processes such as slow sand filters or activated sludge
  • Chemical processes such as flocculation and chlorination
  • Use of electromagnetic radiation such as ultraviolet light

Since water conditioning does not remove the hard minerals from the water and cannot provide all of the benefits of soft water, choosing between a conditioning system and a water softening system depends on water quality. One should consider mineral buildup problems and chemical contaminants in water when selecting a conditioning method.

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