Water Quality & Treatment

Water Treatment

Water Treatment

Safe water fuels our entire region. That’s why Cleveland Water has a comprehensive water treatment process in place to make sure our customers have access to quality water to support their everyday lives.

Cleveland Water’s commitment to providing our customers with quality drinking water is proven through our treatment process. 

Water Treatment Tabs

Treatment Overview

Cleveland Water has a comprehensive treatment process—amongst the finest in the country—involving screens to remove large debris, rapid mix, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection.

Treatment Process

  • 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Intake Debris Removal Rapid Mix Flocculation Sedimentation Filtration Disinfection Distribution
  • Intake


    Raw water is drawn from Lake Erie through intakes located approximately 3 miles off shore where the water is cleaner.

  • Debris Removal

    Debris Removal

    Screens are used to remove fish, shells and other large debris. Pumps propel water throughout the treatment process.

  • Rapid Mix

    Rapid Mix

    Powdered Activated Carbon is added just before rapid mix to help eliminate unpleasant odors and tastes. Alum is then added to help small particles bind together and the water is mixed at high speed.

  • Flocculation


    Mixing speed is gradually reduced to allow the Alum to form clumps which can be more easily removed.

  • Sedimentation


    The clumps sink to the bottom of the sedimentation basins, trapping larger organic materials.

  • Filtration


    Water is filtered through sand and coal removing smaller organic particles not captured during the sedimentation process.

  • Disinfection


    Chlorine, which kills bacteria and viruses, is added to disinfect the water. Orthophosphate and fluoride finish the treatment process.

  • Distribution


    Plants, towers, tanks and 5,300 miles of water mains distribute water to more than 427,000 homes and businesses in Cleveland Water’s service area.

Treatment Overview

Treatment Chemicals

Powdered Activated Carbon Added to the water for absorption of organic material that can cause unpleasant tastes and odors
Alum Added to the water as a coagulant to help small particles stick together so that they can be removed more easily
Chlorine Added to the water for disinfection. It must remain in contact with the water for prescribed periods of time to ensure that bacteria, viruses, and other microbes are killed.
Fluoride Added to the water to promote good dental health
Orthophosphate Added to the water to inhibit lead corrosion of plumbing fixtures
Potassium Permanganate An oxidant that is added to the water to condition it so that coagulation and filtration can more effectively remove particulates

Water Treatment Unit Processes

Screens Remove fish, shells, and other large debris
Pumps Propel the water through the treatment process at a controlled rate
Rapid Mix Quickly distributes treatment chemicals through the water
Flocculators Mix the treatment chemicals with the water at a controlled rate in three stages of decreasing energy to clump the smaller particles together
Sedimentation Basins Water moves very slowly through the Sedimentation Basins to allow large particles to settle down to the bottom and be removed from the water.
Filters Remove fine particles from the water
Finished Water Reservoir Disinfection takes place in the Finished Water Reservoir before water is distributed to customers.

Water Treatment Table


Raw water, taken straight from Lake Erie, is treated at four water treatment plants:
Garrett A. Morgan Water Treatment Plant

Garrett A. Morgan Water Treatment Plant

Ohio City/Detroit Shoreway Neighborhood More Information
Baldwin Water Treatment Plant

Baldwin Water Treatment Plant

University Circle/Fairfax Neighborhood More Information
Nottingham Water Treatment Plant

Nottingham Water Treatment Plant

Eastside of Cleveland More Information
Crown Water Treatment Plant

Crown Water Treatment Plant

City of Westlake More Information