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Q - What is chlorine?
A - Chlorine Chlorine is a chemical element that can be found in liquid, gaseous, or solid state. It is reactive and most commonly found mixed with other compounds. It is among the most common of elements. The salt and other compounds in sea water are a large source of chlorine.
Chlorine gas mixed with water in precisely controlled amounts kills bacteria and microbiological organisms in water. It is globally used for reliable water disinfection.
Chlorine also has the advantage of insuring clean water up to the end-users tap. The actions of other types of water disinfectants, such as ozone and ultraviolet light, are only temporary. Chlorine also helps remove tastes and odors and controls the growth of slime and algae in mains, pipes, and storage tanks.
Liquid chlorine evaporates at temperatures above minus 30°F at normal atmospheric pressure . It is normally kept and transported in special containers or tanks of varying sizes; 100 lbs, 150 lbs, and ton size being the most common. These containers are designed to allow the equilibrium pressure of the evaporating and expanding chlorine gas inside to maintain the liquid state of the chlorine. The gaseous chlorine can then discharged out the top of the container, precisely measured and controlled through a Hydro Instruments chlorinator, and injected into the water supply to be disinfected.
Q - How is chlorine used to disinfect water?
A - It is accomplished through the process known as chlorination.
Q - I heard that chlorine can be an irritant and may even be toxic in certain
situations. What about chlorine safety considerations?
A - Chlorine Safety Considerations:
During the last century, in the United States and abroad, chlorine gas has been proven to be a safe and most effective way to disinfect water supplies. The practice of chlorinating public drinking and waste water has been one of the most profound positive steps forward in assuring overall public good health. In fact, an article in Life Magazines' Fall, 1997 Millennium Issue reports "water purification" as ranking 46th in the top 100 advances of the past 1000 years; ahead of other major health-related achievements such as the discovery of DNA, X-rays and anesthetics.
Chlorine gas is not considered to be toxic, but it is a respiratory, eye, and possible skin irritant. It can cause breathing difficulties and even suffocation in very high concentrations.
Chlorine is not explosive or flammable, but can support combustion.
There is no question that all forms of chlorine must be used and handled with appropriate knowledge, care, and respect in order to eliminate the potential for unsafe conditions.
Chlorine gas is easy to visually identify because it is yellowish or green in color and is considerably denser then air. Therefore, the gas will sink into low-lying places, allowing one to see it and escape.
Because of the density and expansion factors, chlorine containers should never be placed in direct sunlight or exposed to other direct or indirect heating sources!
Chlorine should never be put in the proximity of large quantities of ammonia, since the two can react violently.
It should also be noted that chlorine is corrosive to many common metals and other substances.
Q - What is a sulfonator?
A - Due to the high concentrations of bacteria and other microbiological organisms in waste water, commensurate high concentrations of chlorine are necessary for proper disinfection. Treated waste water is discharged to tributaries through NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) outfalls, and an NPDES permit restricts the allowable chlorine concentration of the discharged water.
Sulfonators are used to inject measured amounts of sulfur dioxide into chlorinated waste water for the purpose of dechlorination.
Q - What happens to an operating chlorinator/sulfonator if the water source is shut off? What if the vacuum line is damaged or disconnected?
A - The water passing through the ejector device creates the vacuum which draws the gas through the connected chlorinator/sulfonator device. Therefore, if the water source is turned off or if the vacuum line is damaged or disconnected, the necessary vacuum is lost and the flow of gas is stopped.
Neither the chlorinator/sulfonator or ejector devices require electrical power to operate.
Q - I heard that sulfur dioxide can be an irritant and may even be toxic in certain situations. What about sulfur dioxide safety considerations?
A - Sulfur Dioxide Safety Precautions:
Sulfur dioxide gas is not considered to be toxic, but it is a respiratory, eye, and possible skin irritant. It can cause breathing difficulties similar to the symptoms of a chest cold.
All forms of sulfur dioxide gas must be used and handled with appropriate knowledge, care, and respect in order to eliminate the potential for unsafe conditions.
Sulfur dioxide gas is colorless and therefore is not easy to visually identify. It has a distinctive pungent odor that will alert the user of a leak in ample time before irritation can occur. It is somewhat denser then air and will sink to low-lying spaces.
Because of the density and expansion factors, sulfur dioxide containers should never be placed in direct sunlight or exposed to other direct or indirect heating sources!
It should also be noted that sulfur dioxide is corrosive to many common metals and other substances.
Q - Can one chlorinator/sulfonator be used to inject gas into multiple water lines?
A - Yes.
Q - Can a pair of chlorinators/sulfonators configured as an automatic switchover system supply a single water line?
A - Yes.
Q - Can multiple chlorinators/sulfonators draw gas from a single container or tank?
A - Yes. Multiple chlorinators or sulfonators can draw gas from a single source and feed correspondingly multiple water or waste water disinfection systems. This is done through the use of a manifold device which mounts on the container and allows multiple chlorinators or sulfonators to be attached.
The reader is asked to keep in mind that the capacity of the container must be sufficient to allow for the sum total of the simultaneous gas draws from all the devices mounted on the manifold.
Q - What is dechlorination?
A - The practice of removing all or a controlled part of a total combined chlorine residual in water or wastewater. Dechlorination is normally accomplished through the measured injection of sulfur dioxide, utilizing a sulfonator device.
Sulfur dioxide reacts with chlorine to form hydrochloric acid, thereby removing chlorine. The amount of hydrochloric acid formed is minimal, and has very little effect on the pH of the discharged wastewater.
Q - How is the amount/rate of gas passing through a chlorinator/sulfonator device
controlled and measured?
A - All chlorinators and sulfonators are designed so that the outgoing gas must pass through a flow meter which controls and measures the gas up to the maximum allowed for the device.