American Chemistry MattersA Blog of the American Chemistry Council

American Chemistry Matters

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#CleanWater: Brought to you by chemistry

Recent events have brought to light something we take for granted every day—water. Most would agree that water is essential to life (in fact, the average American uses 176 gallons of water per day!), but not many know that chemistry is essential to water, especially to clean, fresh drinking water. That’s why we have released a new video in conjunction with the UN’s #WorldWaterDay and the White House Water Summit that highlights the many ways that chemistry keeps our water flowing.

Elementary chemistry tells us that water in itself is a chemical (H2O). But, it also needs chemistry for human use and consumption. For more than a century, chemistry has helped purify, protect, and conserve water so communities around the globe can thrive. How? Let’s dive in…

Chemistry treats water for safe consumption

  • Aluminum and chloride salts remove impurities so water is crystal-clear
  • That clean, clear taste of water? Made possible by carbon, which helps remove odors and improves taste and clarity
  • Bye, bye Typhoid and Cholera! Chlorine-based disinfectants kill bacteria and other germs so you can sip with confidence

Chemistry delivers water through our communities

  • To get from source to tap, water needs chlorine to protect water from germs as it moves through transportation systems
  • Phosphate-based chemistries and epoxy resins deliver a one-two punch to keep metals out of water systems, by respectively preventing pipe corrosion and creating barriers between water pipes and the water it carries
  • Polymer chemistry creates modern delivery solutions that are safe, long-lasting, energy efficient, and cost-effective, like plastic pipes

Chemistry conserves water with new technologies

  • Polymer membranes allow you to drink like a fish by transforming salt water into drinkable fresh water
  • Chemistry-driven purification technologies allow water to be recycled and reused multiple times

So the next time you go to turn on the tap, chemistry has already been hard at work to ensure that you have safe and clean water. From source to tap, chemistry keeps precious water flowing.


View the video here:


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