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An Investigative Report on Chlorine as a Water Disinfectant


This report aims to identify how chlorine as a water disinfectant works, its chemical components, and its effectiveness in household water purification. The report also identifies how chlorine is used in treating water in small-scale household set-ups. It captures the assessment, and the improvement of chlorine uses to ensure disinfection efficiency in treating water; the report also shows other chlorine uses as a disinfectant. The proposed technology to innovate chlorine disinfection efficiency, which plays a positive impact and a significant role in small-scale tanks used in households, is also stated in this report. Apart from that, the report collects data methods based on historical experiences. It proposes that transporting a technology does not result in a long-term impact but how it is transformed to promote sustainability in chlorine usage as a water disinfectant. This report gives a successful solution and the need for water disinfection in households, which must be holistic, taking into consideration the laws, culture, and environment surrounding a household.


Methods of controlling microorganism growth are sterilization, sanitization, using o a disinfectant, disinfection, and many others. Using a disinfectant is the process of using an antimicrobial agent on a non-living object or surface to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. Sterilization is the process of destroying microorganisms by using a sterilized medical object to control the growth of microorganisms. Disinfection is the process of destroying a pathogen or a microorganism that may cause disease; this is mainly done using a disinfectant agent. Sanitization is a process that reduces the population of microorganisms transmission, which is mainly used today as advised by public health practitioners. Other methods of controlling the growth of microorganism include physical methods, which comprises autoclave and flaming, and chemical methods, which include antibiotics, hydrogen peroxide, and iodine. The difference between sterilization and disinfection as methods of controlling microorganisms is that disinfection involves the elimination of harmful microorganisms from non-living objects and surfaces. In contrast, sterilization is a way of killing all the microorganisms in both living things and non-living surfaces and objects. The difference between antiseptics and disinfectants is that antiseptics are mainly used to kill fungi, bacteria, and viruses’ microorganisms on living surfaces using biocides, a chemical. In contrast, disinfectants are used to kill germs on non-living surfaces.

Collection of information

Chlorine, the most commonly used water disinfectant, is a halogen element, and its main compound is sodium chloride, which is about 5.25% in a chlorine household disinfectant. Active Chemical compounds in chlorine disinfectants are hypochlorous acid (HClO) formed by adding water to liquid sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) or chlorine gas. Hypochlorous acid in chlorine disinfectant in water treatment makes it able to destroy microorganisms in water by oxidizing the cellular material of the organism, which may cause viruses and bacteria, which may cause waterborne diseases. Other active chemical compounds found in chlorine disinfectants are Monochloramine (NH2Cl), calcium hypochlorite Ca(ClO)2 and trihalomethane making chlorine a very good disinfectant for water treatment by bringing a long-lasting effect on water. Calcium hypochlorite is a dissolvable chemical component in chlorine which is 90% in the disinfectant and is very powerful in fighting germs.

The main chlorine manufacturer in the world is the China SDIC factory which produces chlorine in the form of granules, tablets, and powder forms. Chlorine uses in water treatment bis killing bacteria, parasites, and viruses in water for consumption in households and treating swimming pool water. Other uses of choline are used as a bleach in paper manufacturing and the textile or cloth industry, in making pesticides that act as insect killers, in the making of solvents, and in the making of synthetic rubbers and chlorinated solvents. The advantage of using chlorine is that it helps in killing of bacteria which has been proven scientifically; it also helps in preventing residual recontamination, it is easy to use chlorine which makes it acceptable in households, and it has been proven to the reduction of diarrheal diseases cases because chlorine is incorporated in the sanitation processes in sewage treatment .harmful effect of chlorine may cause skin irritations and injuries when one is in contact with chlorine liquid, it may lead to poor vision, and it may cause painful blisters and skin redness.

Investigator’s Role and Methodology

Liquid chlorine disinfectants have the main elements of calcium hypochlorite and sodium hypochlorite. The disinfectant has 5.25% (52,500ppm) of sodium hypochlorite. Calcium hypochlorite, which is 2,500ppm as the passive element in chlorine disinfectant sodium hypochlorite, is inorganic (NaOCl) and comprises a hypochlorite anion or the hypochlorous acid and a sodium cation, hydrogen peroxide, citric acid, ethanol and quaternary ammonium compounds. Sodium hypochlorite belongs to class 8 (packaging group III ). The Mechanism Action of chlorine is the corrosive properties that make it a very strong oxidizing agent that causes hydrogen to split from water, resulting in nascent hydrogen chloride and oxygen, which causes corrosive tissue damage. The oxidation of chlorine may also form hypochlorous acid, which makes it a better disinfectant because it penetrates and reacts to the cell structure of a microorganism. The role of chlorine in water treatment is to destroy target microorganisms by oxidizing their cellular materials. (Yang,2017).

Households use the chlorination technique in water treatment by mixing a small quantity of chlorine product with a large quantity of water to kill bacteria and viruses. According to the manufacturer, water can be disinfected using chlorine by adding one part of chlorine solution to every 100 parts of water being treated in a household, which is about adding 16 ouches of chlorine solution to 12 gallons of water solution. Households issue chlorine by using it in excess in a small quantity of water which is against the recommended one by the manufacturer (Ahmed,2019).

For the chlorination process to be effective, some factors such as the Ph of water, temperature, and the time taken for the reaction are considered (DeMarini, 2019­). Water with a high Ph level may lead to chlorine disinfectant being inactive as the hypochlorous acid is dissociated to a hypochlorite ion which is ineffective when subjected to higher pH water. On the other hand, a lower Ph water value makes the process of chlorination very effective as the hypochlorous acid, an active agent in chlorine, works best at a lower pH. Secondly, for chlorine to be effective, it must be in a sufficient quantity. Its reaction with water should be given time because the longer the time taken for the process, the more the chlorination process is effective in water treatment. Using chlorine as a disinfectant can change the chemical composition of water and does not destroy elements such as lead and copper, which are very harmful if consumed by humans because they are associated with causing cancerous cells in human beings. When one comes into contact with chlorine, it may cause skin irritation and pain. It is a drying agent that has extreme drying agents on skin and hair, chlorine has a smell that, when inhaled, may cause olfactory fatigue, which may progress to cause breathing problems.


In conclusion, disinfection is the most important step in water treatment. The microbiology components of water should not be compromised because of health concerns. The risk of diseases results from exposure to pathogens, viruses, and bacteria; therefore, water disinfectant is paramount, and it must be prioritized over any other water treatment methods. However, the use of chemical disinfectant should be incorporated, but the manufacturer’s steps and procedures should be adhered to. In addition to that, households should put into consideration when chlorine works best; factors such as the pH of the water and the time taken for the chlorine and water to take place should be considered when using chlorine which will make the water treatment process effective. Waterborne diseases outbreak continue to be reported, and investigation has it that the pathogens are more disinfection than the kind of bacteria initially caused by the outbreaks; these cases are due to consumption of untreated water, errors in the disinfection processes, and water shortages. Since the implementation of chlorination, it has been the most common method used in water treatment. Over the years, the cases of waterborne diseases have reduced due to the adoption of the chlorination method of water treatment. In order to make this possible, it is important for the public health Practioner to create awareness among people on the impacts of consuming chlorinated water and be open to them about the adverse effects involved when one comes into contact with chlorine. Apart from that, the manufacturers should write simple and direct usage procedures to help consumers understand the step easily. Research should be conducted in households where water treatment is being done on small scales. Besides that, innovative technology should be implemented to ensure sustainability (Zhang,2019).Technology such as adopting holistic water treatment methods that consider the law, environment and economics should also be applied to water treatment in households.


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