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H2O of Today: Refreshing, Recyclable, and Reusable!

August 19, 2022

There’s a Keystone in every great invention.


Water Treatment and the Electronics Behind It     

If you’ve visited our blog before, you’ll know the overarching topic highlights how specific technologies have evolved and become integral parts of society’s everyday habits, with the help of Keystone components. We’ve covered the evolutions of refrigerators, rain gauges and even toilets (oh the places you’ll find electronics today), and this month’s topic ties all those technologies into one: the evolution of Water Treatment.

From drinking to cleaning, landscaping, and sewage maintenance, we practically have infinite uses for water throughout our day-to-day that require not just the cleanest H2O possible, but the most efficient water recycling processes as well. 

History of Water Treatment

Before major technological development, a person’s water came directly from nearby rivers and lakes. Water source proximity was also a significant player in determining locations for the developments of early settlements and cities. As populations and cities expanded and transformed, the availability of clean water dwindled due to increased demand and pollution presence. The 17th century introduced an early version of water treatment through sand filtration, utilizing a natural resource to help separate imperfections from water. 

In 1804, a civil engineer by the name of Robert Them created the very first water treatment plant in Paisley, Scotland. Using a combination of sand and gravel, mass quantities of water were slowly filtered through the mixture, then delivered to towns via horse-drawn carts. As efficient as that might have been back then, the horse-carrying system was quickly outgrown, and by 1807 the city of Glasgow had implemented a piping system that delivered water directly to its citizens. 

Robert Them is also credited for building an aqueduct that brought water from a nearby lake into the town of Greenock, mainly to power the mills that had been built at the height of the Industrial Revolution. 


Electronic Water Purification

As mentioned before, as populations increase and cities grow, the availability of naturally clean water declines. We’re constantly using water, from showering to washing our hands, to flushing the toilet and rinsing dinner plates, our consumption of water has led to the need for water recycling. Today’s water treatment facilities are equipped with the proper technology and innovation to take wastewater coming from homes, sewer pipes, or surface and ground water, and remove unwanted, disease-causing bacteria and chemicals. Operators are able to control the presence of contaminants and healthful additives such as fluoride, and salination levels thanks to electricity powering air compressors and pumps, display boards, sensors and advanced communication lines.

This not only allows for water to be efficiently recycled and repurposed, the filtration processes of water treatment plants also ensure regulated cleanliness levels are being met while water resources are being maintained and conserved. 

With that being said, there are sparsely populated areas and remote civilizations that are continuously lacking access to clean water. Innovations such as electric water purifiers make it possible to bring purified water to cities in remote areas or communities suffering from natural disasters like floods and droughts. Most electronic water purifiers require small amounts of power and can be paired with compact solar panels to reach peak portability. Electrical power is used to create electrical fields that target and charge particles and salinity levels in collected water. Electronic purifiers repel and release charged particles carrying bacteria and viruses and provide notifications once drinkable water is available. Other devices rely on Ultraviolet Purification, which applies UV radiation to water, killing pathogenic bacteria and viruses. 

A number of Keystone products can be found in water purification efforts, either in water treatment facilities or through electronic purification devices. From  Battery Clips, Contacts & HoldersFuse Clips & HoldersandPCB Test Points &Terminals; to Panel & Computer Hardware and PCB Pins, Plugs, Jacks & Sockets, Keystone is here for you!