Polyphosphate & Its Role in Clean Water

Water treatment facilities have long used chemicals to control unwanted organic and nonorganic material in potable water. One chemical in particular, polyphosphate, has such a variety of positive impacts on water treatment that most companies find they rely on it daily. Bell Chem has created this succinct list to explain the role water treatment chemical, polyphosphates, play on cleaning water in water treatment facilities.

  • A major role for polyphosphates is the stabilization and dispersion of iron. Surprisingly, polyphosphates do not remove iron from water; instead, the iron remains in the water in a soluble form that does not affect the color, condition, or taste of water. Chlorinating the water causes the iron to become insoluble, leading to a telltale rusty color that stains clothes, porcelain, and other porous surfaces. Adding polyphosphates before chlorination eliminates the formation of insoluble iron.
  • Manganese, another heavy metal, is also neutralized with polyphosphates. An excess of manganese leaves water looking exceedingly dark, often referred to as “black water,” which leaves brown stains on porous objects. Polyphosphates, before the addition of chlorine, will prevent manganese from becoming insoluble.
  • Water hardness is reduced when polyphosphates are present in water treatment plants.
  • Pressure tanks, hot water storage tanks, and pipes with iron deposits are scourged clean with polyphosphates. The addition of polyphosphates in these areas will temporarily increase iron in the water as it leaves the metal surfaces, but the uninterrupted use of polyphosphates retards iron from adhering to tanks and pipes within the water treatment system.
  • Magnesium and calcium crystallize in the form of scale on potable water system surfaces. Polyphosphates impede crystalline growth, leaving interior walls free of scale.

Water treatment systems have found that polyphosphates are an economical, reliable source to counter many of the daily impediments to water safety, clarity, and taste. Contact Bell Chem today at (407) 339-2355 (BELL) to speak with one of our representatives concerning polyphosphates or any other water treatment chemical, and read our past blogs for information on all the chemicals in our inventory.