The chlorination of public drinking water has been hailed as one of the most outstanding advancements in public health of the last century. Nowadays, the majority of municipal water supplies in the developed world are disinfected using chlorine-based solutions, either alone or in combination with others. Long has chlorination of drinking water proved to be a safe, effective, economical and widely applicable water treatment method.
How Chlorine Works
Chlorine exists in several forms, but for the purposes of water treatment, it’s most commonly used as either compressed gas, as liquid sodium hypochlorite (bleach), as solid calcium hypochlorite, or as a tablet of sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC).
When any of these forms is added to water, it commonly reacts by forming what is called free available chlorine (FAC). FAC is a balance of differing levels of hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion depending on the pH level of the water.
As these FAC agents come into contact with waterborne microorganisms, they attack the pathogens at various levels, either killing them or rendering them incapable of reproducing, thus providing you with microbiologically safe drinking water.
The scientists had discovered that chlorine served as a suitable protection against waterborne microorganisms. Now that benefits combine with chlorine’s many other advantages to make it a viable solution to combating waterborne disease around the world.
Chlorine minimise the threat of nearly all types of waterborne microorganisms (the most notable exceptions being Cryptosporidium and Mycobacteria), making it a highly effective and efficient way to treat drinking water.
Additionally, it can neutralize the foul tastes and odors from organic substances, such as decaying plant matter and sulfides. Chlorine inhibits mold and algae growth, and oxidizes inorganic chemicals like iron and manganese, making it a versatile disinfectant.
Safe and Simple to Use:
Chlorine is very well studied, which means science tells us how to use chlorine effectively and safely. Chlorine takes a very small amount of chlorine to kill the pathogens, a level that is still very safe for human consumption.
Chlorine is simple to use nature also increases its safety. As water treatment, it requires only three steps: add the dose, agitate the water, wait 30 minutes. Science tells us the correct dosage needed, so we simply increase that dose based on the number of liters we are treating.
Chlorine continues to disinfect after its initial treatment. Chlorine has residual effects, This means it continues to work until all the chlorine molecules have been exhausted. So, How long that takes depends on storage conditions (light, heat, etc.). Although chlorine will continue to kill any microbes introduced into the treated water until all the chlorine molecules are used up. This chlorine residual provides extra protection against re-contamination.
Efficient for Treating Large Volumes:
The residual qualities make chlorine great for treating large volumes of water as well. The larger the volume or the farther that water must travel to reach its end-user, the more likely it is to be re-contaminated. Chlorine’s residual qualities help safely against this threat.
Additionally, a relatively small amount of chlorine goes a long way when compared to the size of the filter that would be required to treat vast amounts of water without quickly clogging. So, chlorine is a very efficient way to treat water for thousands of people.
However its cost varies with circumstances, chlorine treatment is still overall one of the least expensive treatment methods available, this is one reason it’s by far the most commonly used water disinfection method in the world. The resources chlorine requires are widely available and low-cost, and the tools needed to use it are elementary. so, chlorine lacks many of the expensive maintenance, repair, and operating costs associated with other types of water treatment methods.
Chlorine’s effective power is an advantage as well. In a minimal of 30 minutes, entire community tanks of contaminated water can be rendered drinkable using considerably little of the resource.