The Chlorination of water
Chlorination is the process of adding chemicals (sodium hypochlorite) to water in order to purify it and kills bacteria and viruses which prevent water born diseases such as dysentery, cholera and typhoid fever.
The process of Chlorinating water is through tanks. The water is pumped out of the water storage tank then the tank is cleaned and debris removed. The tank is then filled with new water, mixed with chlorine. When chlorine is dissolved in water it changes into hypochlorous acid and hydrochloric acid. Hypochlorous acid is neutrally charged making it easy to attack and destroy the negatively charged bacteria. Engineers will then test for the right ph levels and settings. The tank is then refilled with chlorine and retested until it is ready to be flushed through an outlet for use. Before 1908 there were no standards set by municipalities to eliminate water born diseases which had a devastating impact on communities. Since the 70’s chlorine dioxide has been an acceptable form of disinfecting drinking water. In 1997 it was declared that the filtration of drinking water and the use of Chlorine was of utmost importance for public health safety.
The benefits of chlorination are that is destroys micro-organisms that cause diseases in drinking water. It is a taste and odour control for water as it neutralises any bad smells that come from algae or sulphides (rotten egg odour). Chlorine controls biological growth such as mold, algae, slime that is found in water storage units. Chlorine also controls chemical compounds found in the water. It removes nitrogenous compounds such as ammonia that give a disagreeable taste. It controls legionnaire’s disease which leads to pneumonia which is contracted by inhaling small droplets of water. Chlorination of water may come with its share of controversies but the fears are largely outweighed by the impact on the population if the water was not disinfected and strong action taken against water born diseases.