(NewsUSA) — You turn on the tap, and water comes out. Period. Safe, plentiful and affordable drinking water is one of our nation’s most precious resources and something most of us take for granted.

But what if you turned the tap and nothing happened, or if the water you drank made you sick?

While pouring a glass of water may seem simple, before it arrives at your tap there is a complex process of collecting, storing, treating and distributing that helps ensure its availability and quality. In fact, water utilities implement comprehensive water management plans and processes to ensure that adequate amounts of high quality drinking water are available. These include development and protection of sources of supply, the application of modern water treatment techniques, maintenance of the water distribution system, water conservation and frequent and regular testing of the water being supplied to homes and businesses.

Drinking water supplied by utilities is always treated to remove contaminants and harmful micro-organisms. That treatment process typically consists of clarification (to remove sediment and other particles), filtration (to remove even smaller particles) and disinfection (to kill or inactivate bacteria and viruses). The water is then delivered to residential and commercial customers via an extensive pipe network.

Drinking water utilities are committed to protecting public health and are constantly monitoring and reassessing their methods for treating water to ensure its quality. In part, this is due to changing government regulations, which periodically alter water quality standards. In addition, they may undertake other forms of treatment not expressly required to comply with regulations in order to ensure that drinking water meets and often exceeds the standards and needs of local communities.

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