Chlorination is the process of adding chlorine to wastewater to reduce the population of pathogenic organisms. Chlorine passes through the cell walls, oxidizing and destroying the cell enzymes. It is important to have an appropriate detention time to allow the chlorine to react with the microorganisms. The length of contact time necessary for proper treatment decreases as the chlorine concentration increases. Generally, 30 to 60 minutes of contact time is required for typical wastewater strengths and chlorine concentrations.

In preparation for chlorination, wastewater from a home is treated with at least a septic tank. Advanced pretreatment may be necessary for proper disinfection. Pretreatment is necessary to remove significant amounts of organic matter and solids that can otherwise reduce the effectiveness of the disinfection process.

There are safety and health issues when using a technology that utilizes chlorine. Homeowners and service providers should familiarize themselves with the proper handling and storage procedures for the different forms of chlorine available.

Related Resources:

  Operation and Maintenance Checklist: Disinfection Unit – Chlorine

  Liquid Chlorination (L-5460)

  Tablet Chlorination (L-5344) (Spanish: L-5344S)

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