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Water disinfection

What is water disinfection

Water disinfection is the removal of harmful microorganisms that pose hazard and health risks to the public health. With disinfection, it is ensured that water is safe to use, not just in household needs but as well as in other areas like manufacturing products. The microorganisms are destroyed through different purifying processes or by use of numerous kinds of disinfectants.

Water disinfection is a form of water treatment.

Methods of water disinfection

Because different pathogens might be present in water, most especially in drinking water, disinfection should be of utmost priority. Two primary methods commonly used for water disinfection include physical and chemical methods. Non chemical methods for disinfecting water include methods such as heating, freezing, filtration, radiation, etc. While this kind of technology is facing rapid development nowadays, it remains to be seen whether physical methods of disinfection guarantee complete removal of these harmful microorganisms.

Using chemicals for water disinfection

Use of chemicals has gained recognition as the surest way to kill and deactivate these harmful microorganisms and purify water and other water supplies. The most common methods involving the use of chemicals include ozonation and chlorination. Potential health impacts that concern the public with such processes have started to outweigh the benefits that chemical methods offer, such as the use of chlorine dioxide. Which is also gaining wider attention.

Common chemical water disinfectants are:

  • Chlorine dioxide (ClO2)
  • Chlorine (Cl2)
  • Ozone (O2)
  • Hypo chlorite (OCl) 
  • Halogens like bromine (Br2) or iodine (I)
  • Bromine chloride (BrCl)
  • Metals like copper (Cu2+) or silver (Ag+) 
  • Kaliumpermanganate (KMnO4)
  • Acids and bases 
  • Alcohols 
  • Soaps and detergents 
  • Fenols 
  • Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2
  • Kwartair ammonium salts 

Physical disinfection methods are the use of:

  • Ultraviolet light (UV) 
  • Electronic radiation 
  • Gamma rays 
  • Sounds 
  • Heat