Micro-organisms are present almost everywhere in the atmosphere in air, water. There are many of them which are known to cause diseases in human and some are not. These micro-organisms are known as Pathogens. These pathogens causes waterborne disease which is transmitted through drinking water distribution system.
There are various methods of disinfection used to kill or inactive the pathogens in order to eradicated water borne diseases. Water treatment process such as sedimentation, filtration, chlorination and coagulation are on the list used for disinfecting the water.
Chlorination is the process which is used to disinfect the water for drinking process. The method which started over a century ago is still used today. This method of disinfection uses chlorine or chlorine-containing substances for the disinfection and oxidation of the water which will be used for drinking water. When the chemicals are added to water in high doses, they all mix in and spread out leading to low levels and killing the germs. The chlorination process is used in order to prevent the spread of the waterborne diseases such as typhoid, dysentery and typhoid.
Chlorination process involves addition of specific amount of chlorine to the disinfected water in order to kill bacteria, cysts and viruses. The power of killing of chlorine depends upon various factors such as the temperature of the water, contact time (the time for which the chlorine is present in water before consumption), pH of the water and chlorine level present in the water. Generally, this is the final stage of water treatment which is followed by an upstream filtration step removing sediments which can tie up chlorine and shield organisms from its effect.
In some situations, it may be problematic to disinfect water by chlorination process. The naturally organic compounds react with the chlorine in the water supply creating compounds known as disinfection-by-products The common DBPs produced are Haloacetic acids (HAAs) and Trihalomethanes (THMs).Trihalomethanes are the main disinfectant which is responsible for health hazards. The duration of the exposure to the chemicals and the amount of THMs intake can decide the level of effects on the body. Bromoform present in the THMs can slow down the regular brain activity showing symptoms such as sedation or sleepiness. Chronic exposure of bromoform can cause kidney and liver cancer as well as heart disease, unconsciousness or death in case of higher doses. Due to the property of carcinogenity of these compounds, the drinking water regulations across the world require regular monitoring of these compounds in the large chlorination plant of water systems.
Chlorination process is a very popular and effective method of water disinfection which has been used for many years for killing bacteria and viruses. Many communities have become hesitant in the continuation of this process with the concern about trihalomethanes, a carcinogenic disinfection by-product. It continues to be the most popular, dependable, and cost-effective method of water disinfection alth
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(The Water Treatment & Environmental Management Group)