One of the reasons that chlorine water treatment has been used so widely and successfully for so many years is that it's both very effective at killing bacteria and relatively affordable to use, particularly on a municipal level. Chlorine is an inexpensive chemical, and it can be stored and transported relatively easily, although special precautions do need to be taken because of its toxic nature. This chemical works quickly to disinfect water and, because it's a chemical disinfectant, it stays active in the water for some time, preventing the water from becoming re-contaminated after it leaves the treatment plant.
Chlorine Water Treatment at Home
While chlorine disinfection systems are frequently used in city water treatment plants, it's much less common to find these systems in private homes. Home water chlorination systems require a relatively large set up, including a big retention tank to allow the chlorine and water to mix appropriately, and the chlorine itself requires careful handling. Chlorine also has a tendency to crystallize and clog the injection systems, which means that the whole setup needs to be regularly inspected and maintained. In addition, many people dislike the smell and taste of chlorine-treated drinking water.
For all of its faults, chlorine water treatment is still the best disinfection solution for some homeowners. This is particularly true for those who have serious water contamination problems. Chlorine is also quite effective at killing algae, which can be a problem in surface water systems. When used appropriately and maintained correctly, a chlorine disinfection system can be safe and effective.
Water Chlorination System Parts
Reliable home chlorine water treatment systems typically include the following parts:
- A chlorine solution tank that holds liquid chlorine safely and keeps out debris. A good tank should also protect children and pets from accidental exposure.
- A proportional injection system to add the correct amount of chlorine to the water being treated.
- A large chlorine contact tank to allow the chlorine sufficient time to contact and treat the water. The tank should be large enough to supply a 15-20 minute supply of treated water at peak flow.
- A backwashing carbon filter to remove iron and sulfur from the water. These minerals react with the chlorine, which is an oxidant, and can be filtered from the water. A carbon filter will also help remove some of the residual chlorine from the water.
Do I Need Chlorine Disinfection?
If you get your water from the city or another municipality, it has almost certainly already been disinfected (probably with chlorine or chloramines, a related chemical) before it's piped into your home. If you have a well or other private water supply, it's important to have it tested regularly for the presence of bacteria and other contaminants. We offer several types of water testing kits, or you can have a local water testing laboratory test your water.
Once you have confirmed that your water contains bacteria or other microorganisms, you need to speak to a Certified Water Specialist to determine what type of water disinfection systems may be right for you. In serious cases, a chlorine water treatment system may be necessary to ensure that your water is safe to drink. The specialists at US Water Systems can help you decide if you do need chlorine disinfection or if a different type of treatment system – such as UV or quantum disinfection – will be better for your specific water issues. These other systems are typically much smaller, easier to install and maintain, and less expensive than chlorine.