The water used by industry for boiler feed or process purposes may be taken from public supplies, or abstracted directly from wells, lakes or rivers. In Great Britain, town mains water will have been treated to render it largely clear and colourless, free from odour, and bacteriologically sterile. It is thus directly suitable for many industrial purposes such as cooling, and in cases where ion exchange treatment is used, town mains water can normally be fed directly into the columns. Many large industrial users abstract water from natural sources for their own use. Where these are deep wells, the water is normally clear, colourless, and directly treatable by ion exchange; but in cases where water is taken directly from rivers or lakes, clarification by the classical methods of coagulation and filtration is normally necessary. These techniques are fully described elsewhere, and for the purposes of this book, the starting point of all industrial ion exchange processes is a supply of clear water, free from suspended and colloidal matter.
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