Photograph of  this antiquated laundry sink with several unsanitary plumbing violations in view.Water Chlorinators & Charcoal Filters
Use of Chlorine Treatment Systems for Contaminated Drinking Water

  • CHLORINATORS & CHARCOAL FILTERS - CONTENTS: Water treatment by using a chlorinator or chlorine injection system to remove bacteria, sulphur, odors. Water treatment equipment choices, pros and cons of each water purification method. Water treatment methods for contamination, bacteria, lead, minerals, etc. Water treatment choices for odors, smells, sediment, cloudiness. Water treatment methods for hardness & mineral content. Choices of types of water treatment equipment
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about choosing, installing, maintaining & repairing chlorinators, water purifiers and water treatment systems
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Water chlorination systems for buildings: here we explain how to install, use, & repair or maintain drinking water chlorinators or chlorine injection systems for correcting unsanitary or unsatisfactory drinking water.

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Chlorinators with Charcoal Filters for Water Purification

Photo of a water chlorinatorA typical very effective treatment system for water contaminated by a persistent source bacterial contamination involves the injection of chlorine into the water supply, a holding tank to permit sufficient exposure time and concentration for the chlorine to do its work, and a post-processing charcoal filter to remove the chlorine from the water as it leaves the system.

[Click to enlarge any image]

Besides bacteria what else will a chlorinator remove from drinking water?

Chlorine treatment water purification systems will also remove modest levels of sulphur, sulphur generating bacteria, and other odors.

If the water has a high level of sediment, pre-filtering may be necessary to avoid clogging the charcoal with debris. There is an operating cost as the charcoal filters need to be changed periodically.

Also see WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT DISINFECTION - separate article describing the requirement to disinfect water softeners, filters, and other water handling equipment.

Above our photograph shows the mixing and holding tank into which chlorine (or bleach solution) is injected for well water disinfection. The water holding tank is intended to provide sufficient contact time for the chlorine injected into the water so that it can adequately kill microorganisms.

Keep in mind that chlorine or other disinfection methods alone simply are intended to kill living pathogens. They do not remove odors, minerals or other un-wanted ingredients that may be found in some water supplies.

Chlorine injection system pump for well water disinfection (C) Daniel FriedmanAt left the photograph shows a typical chlorine injection pump used on an automatic chlorine injection system for water disinfection.

Chlorine injection pumps may be activated by water usage or by a clock or timer and must be able to withstand the corrosivity of the disinfectant.

OPINION: A water treatment specialist will often test your water at no charge in order to develop a profile of the contaminants or aesthetic contaminants in water and thus to recommend a specific water treatment system.

This "free water test" service is a great deal for building owners and buyers so long as they realize that the water treatment company wants to sell water treatment equipment.

The building owner where this water chlorination system was installed preferred to make his own frequent tests of the chlorine level in the building water supplyh. He was using a swimming pool test kit to check for residual chlorine levels in the water holding tank (photo at below left).

Water chlorine level testing using a pool test kit (C) InspectAPedia.comSee CHLORAMINE TESTS, WATER for some better suggestions.

Some of our readers indicate that they were mistrustful of calling a company that sells water treatment equipment to ask for advice. Although we have encountered a few aggressive sales people, we have never found a water treatment company professional who gave dishonest advice about what was found in drinking water and what water treatment options can be provided.

Only a very foolish water salesman would be dishonest about what's in the water, but some companies may be reluctant to outline all of the treatment alternatives. If you're in doubt have some independent water tests done before spending on a costly system. If we had to live with bacteria in our water supply, this would be our treatment system of choice.

More information on chlorine in water and in septic systems: see CHLORINE IMPACT on SEPTIC


Water purifier, de salinator, chlorinator designed for shipboard use, installed in U.S. home (C) Daniel Friedman Water purifier, de salinator, chlorinator designed for shipboard use, installed in U.S. home (C) Daniel Friedman

At above left is a water disinfection system combining a chlorine injection (the small white tube shown in the lower right of the image) and gas & odor (and possibly radon) removal (the large white vents at the top of the water storage tank).

At above right we show a water de-salination and disinfection system installed in the basement of a New York home in the U.S. This system was actually designed for shipboard use according to the building owner.

Reverse Osmosis (previously discussed in a prior edition of this article) is also used for water that is high in mineral content, suffers from odor problems or other contaminants and has the feature that additional chemicals such as chlorine are not required.

Details about RO systems are now found at REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER TREATMENT

This series of articles explains many common water contamination tests for bacteria and other contaminants in water samples. We describe what to do about contaminated water, listing common corrective measures when water test results are unsatisfactory.

We include water testing and water correction measures warnings for home owners and especially for home buyers when certain conditions are encountered, with advice about what to do when these circumstances are encountered.

Home Chlorinator + Charcoal Filter Water Treatment Effectiveness Research

  • Andersson, Anneli, Patrick Laurent, Anne Kihn, Michèle Prévost, and Pierre Servais. "Impact of temperature on nitrification in biological activated carbon (BAC) filters used for drinking water treatment." Water research 35, no. 12 (2001): 2923-2934.
  • Ahmedna, Mohamed, Wayne E. Marshall, Abdo A. Husseiny, Ramu M. Rao, and Ipek Goktepe. "The use of nutshell carbons in drinking water filters for removal of trace metals." Water Research 38, no. 4 (2004): 1062-1068.
  • Babu, Raveendra, and Malay Chaudhuri. "Home water treatment by direct filtration with natural coagulant." J Water Health 3 (2005): 27-30.
  • Betancourt, Walter Q., and Joan B. Rose. "Drinking water treatment processes for removal of< i> Cryptosporidium</i> and< i> Giardia</i>." Veterinary parasitology 126, no. 1 (2004): 219-234.
  • Colford, John M., Timothy J. Wade, Sukhminder K. Sandhu, Catherine C. Wright, Sherline Lee, Susan Shaw, Kim Fox et al. "A randomized, controlled trial of in-home drinking water intervention to reduce gastrointestinal illness." American Journal of Epidemiology 161, no. 5 (2005): 472-482.
  • Diao, H. F., X. Y. Li, J. D. Gu, H. C. Shi, and Z. M. Xie. "Electron microscopic investigation of the bactericidal action of electrochemical disinfection in comparison with chlorination, ozonation and Fenton reaction." Process biochemistry 39, no. 11 (2004): 1421-1426.
  • Gadgil, Ashok. "Drinking water in developing countries." Annual review of energy and the environment 23, no. 1 (1998): 253-286.
  • Haman, Dorota Z., and Adelbert Brace Bottcher. Home water quality and safety. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 1986.
  • Himberg, K., A-M. Keijola, L. Hiisvirta, H. Pyysalo, and K. Sivonen. "The effect of water treatment processes on the removal of hepatotoxins from< i> Microcystis</i> and< i> Oscillatoria</i> cyanobacteria: A laboratory study." Water Research 23, no. 8 (1989): 979-984.
  • Jurczak, Tomasz, Malgorzata Tarczynska, Katarzyna Izydorczyk, Joanna Mankiewicz, Maciej Zalewski, and Jussi Meriluoto. "Elimination of microcystins by water treatment processes—examples from Sulejow Reservoir, Poland." Water Research 39, no. 11 (2005): 2394-2406.
  • Kim, B. R., J. E. Anderson, S. A. Mueller, W. A. Gaines, and A. M. Kendall. "Literature review—efficacy of various disinfectants against< i> Legionella</i> in water systems." Water Research 36, no. 18 (2002): 4433-4444.
  • Le Dantec, Corinne, Jean-Pierre Duguet, Antoine Montiel, Nadine Dumoutier, Sylvie Dubrou, and Véronique Vincent. "Occurrence of mycobacteria in water treatment lines and in water distribution systems." Applied and environmental microbiology 68, no. 11 (2002): 5318-5325.
  • Li, Xiao-yan, and Hiu Ping Chu. "Membrane bioreactor for the drinking water treatment of polluted surface water supplies." Water Research 37, no. 19 (2003): 4781-4791.
  • Luby, Stephen E., Amber H. Syed, Naureen Atiullah, Mohammad K. Faizan, and Susan Fisher-Hoch. "Limited effectiveness of home drinking water purification efforts in Karachi, Pakistan." International Journal of Infectious Diseases 4, no. 1 (2000): 3-7.
  • Matilainen, Anu, Niina Lindqvist, Susanna Korhonen, and Tuula Tuhkanen. "Removal of NOM in the different stages of the water treatment process." Environment International 28, no. 6 (2002): 457-465.
  • Reynolds, Kelly A., Kristina D. Mena, and Charles P. Gerba. "Risk of waterborne illness via drinking water in the United States." Reviews of environmental contamination and toxicology. Springer New York, 2008. 117-158.
  • Richardson, Susan D., Michael J. Plewa, Elizabeth D. Wagner, Rita Schoeny, and David M. DeMarini. "Occurrence, genotoxicity, and carcinogenicity of regulated and emerging disinfection by-products in drinking water: a review and roadmap for research." Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research 636, no. 1 (2007): 178-242.
  • Richardson, S. D., A. D. Thruston Jr, T. V. Caughran, P. H. Chen, T. W. Collette, K. M. Schenck, B. W. Lykins Jr, Ch Rav-Acha, and V. Glezer. "Identification of new drinking water disinfection by-products from ozone, chlorine dioxide, chloramine, and chlorine." In Environmental Challenges, pp. 95-102. Springer Netherlands, 2000.
  • Simpson, David R. "Biofilm processes in biologically active carbon water purification." Water research 42, no. 12 (2008): 2839-2848.
  • Sobsey, Mark D., Sanitation Water, and World Health Organization. "Managing water in the home: accelerated health gains from improved water supply/prepared by Mark D. Sobsey." (2002).


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REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER TREATMENT at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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