Commercial water systems and treatment plants are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, among other organizations. The water they supply must meet certain standards for clarity. Because the water in each area contains different substances, each facility may use different methods for treating the water. Typical treatments include disinfection to kill bacteria; filtration, to remove sediment; carbon filtering or aeration to eliminate organic chemicals; and ion absorption to get rid of inorganics like iron. Some facilities use reverse osmosis to filter their water. These systems have a high-pressure pump that forces water into a vessel, then back through a membrane with microscopic holes. Distillation is one of the oldest methods of purifying water, and is still used today. It mimics the natural cycle of water as it evaporates, leaves particles behind, then condenses, and forms ‘clean’ precipitation. Often, two or more methods are combined, to achieve the proper water quality. In the future, look for treatment plants to adopt even more effective filters, that can better remove tiny organisms like bacteria and viruses. For more information on commercial water systems, contact the local water department, or a water conditioning dealer.