Tekniska Museet
100 Innovations - Tekniska museet

An exhibition at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, 2012 – 2018

Water purification

Water purification

Ingress för att beskriva innovationen

Water purification

Aid organizations such as ActionAid are aiming to provide more people in Moçambique with clean water. Photo: ActionAid

Water purification

Filter at Lovö water purification plant in Stockholm area. Each day the plant produces 150 million liters of drinking water. Photo: Kari Kohvakka

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Water purification

Currently, more than one billion people lack clean water. 1.8 million people die every year as a consequence of diarrhoeal diseases, often caused by dirty water. Water purification is an important innovation. In nature, water is cleaned when it is filtered and seeps into the ground, but it takes a long time. In Sweden we use 200 litres per person every day. 10 litres goes to food and drink, the rest is used in showers, washing and to flush the toilet.

Drinking water is purified in a water treatment plant. It is done in three steps: one mechanical, one biological and one chemical. First, particles are removed by filtering the water. In the second step, organic matter is broken down with the aid of microorganisms. In the last step, the water is allowed to react with aluminium or iron ions to remove phosphorus. It takes around 12 hours to purify drinking water.

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