Airedale Chemical

Chemicals in Water Treatment – Industry Focus

1st May 2018

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Despite 71% of the Earth’s surface being covered by water and the oceans that it covers holding 96.5% of the whole planets water, only 2.5% is fresh water. Of that 2.5%, 1% is easily obtainable with most of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields.

It is this lack of usable water that makes the water treatment industry one of the biggest users of chemicals worldwide. At Airedale we deal with some of the UKs largest water companies to help them facilitate their chemical needs.

How are chemicals used in water treatment?

As most of the planet’s water isn’t fresh we have had to find ways of sourcing drinkable water as well as water for other uses.

Chemicals are used within the process to purify water, removing undesirable chemicals, contaminants, suspended solids and gases.

Chemicals are currently used within water treatment as:

What chemicals are used in water treatment?

There are numerous chemicals used within the water treatment industry and at Airedale we stock 52 different product solutions.

The individual chemicals can be categorised as stated above, but what are they and what solutions are available from Airedale Chemical.


Used to kill algae of all kinds including blue and green, these products are used during most water treatment cycles.

Chemicals used as algaecides mist often kill the algae but they don’t remove any toxins release by the algae prior to the chemical being added.

Water Softeners

The most common application for chemicals within the water industry is to soften water. This is the removal of calcium, magnesium and other metal cations in hard water. Water softeners are used to improve its ability to clean as soap and detergents aren’t wasted on calcium irons within the hard water.

Chemicals used as water softeners include:

Coagulators & Flocculators

Chemicals are used as coagulants and flocculators in water treatment to improve the waters quality and have been since 2000BC where the Egyptians used almonds smeared around vessels to clarify river water.

Used in portable water treatment these types of chemicals clump together destabilised particles into larger pieces that would often be missed during filtration.

Coagulation and Flocculation are used in both water and wastewater treatment, which makes it one of the biggest markets for chemicals. Some chemicals used include:

Corrosion inhibitors

Chemicals are used within the water treatment industry to prevent corrosion when used in machinery, boilers and other working parts. Excessive corrosion can lead to failure within these parts which in turn can mean businesses have extensive down time, at significant cost.

Chemicals used as corrosion inhibitors include:

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