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The first water treatment step is screening. If water comes from a surface source, it is put through a relatively large opening screen or mesh to remove trash, fish, and any other large items that would interfere with further processing. Next, the water is sent to a large clarifier with a long retention time. As the water flows slowly through the clarifier, the larger suspended solids are given a chance to settle out and separate by gravity. Clarifiers usually have a mechanism to slowly and automatically remove settled solids.