The color of surface waters utilized for domestic supplies is of major concern for reasons mentioned previously. Many industrial processes also require the use of color-free water. Removal of color is an expensive matter when capital investment and operating costs are considered. In addition, color in natural waters is an indirect indicator of the potential for tnhalomethane formation during disinfection with chlorine. Therefore, a water supply is generally desired with a color low enough so that chemical treatment will not be required and trihalomethane formation will not constitute a burdensome treatment problem. This "prospecting" may or may not be successful. If it is, color data can be used as one of the parameters to satisfy the client that expensive chemical treatment or alternative means of disinfection are not necessary. If it is not successful, color data can be used along with other information to support the case that more costly forms of treatment are needed to produce an acceptable supply.
Before a chemical treatment plant is designed, research should be conducted to ascertain the best chemicals to use and amounts required. In dealing with colored waters, color determinations serve as the basis of the decisions. Such data must be obtained for proper selection of chemical feeding machinery and the design of storage space.
Once operation of the treatment facilities has begun, color determinations on the raw and finished wastes serve to govern the dosages of chemicals used, to ensure economical operation, and to produce a low-color water that is well within accepted limits.
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