What is a Chlorinator?

Feb. 28, 2022

Drinking water chlorination controls waterborne infectious disease and is the most common drinking water disinfectant globally. 

What is a chlorinator?

A chlorinator adds chlorine to drinking water  to eliminate parasites, bacteria, and viruses. 

Chlorinators are also used for swimming pool water, odor control of slime and marine growths in cooling water towers, circulating water, and in service water systems. 

What does a chlorinator do?

Chlorination occurs by using liquefied chlorine gas, sodium hypochlorite solution, or calcium hypochlorite granules, as well as onsite chlorine generators.

​​Permanent and continuous chlorination of a private water supply can be done through a chlorine pump, solid feed unit, aspirator or suction device. Public water systems use chlorine in the gaseous form and private water systems use liquid chlorine or dry chlorine. 

How do you use a chlorinator?

There are inline chlorinators and offline chlorinators, as well as digital solar chlorinators

One time only addition of chlorine to a water supply is known as shock chlorination, which does not eliminate bacteriological problems. Instead, permanent continuous chlorination is required.

Inline chlorination technologies are ideal for water treatment in scenarios with low-resource settings. This allows for continuous dosing of chlorine chemicals into water for disinfection purposes. Chemical metering pumps are commonly used in these applications to ensure proper dosing of chlorine so as not to cause undue harm to humans or the environment.

Offline chlorinators are used when an inline chlorinator cannot fit into the existing system, connecting through a bypass line offline from the rest of the equipment.

Digital solar chlorinators with the active ingredient chlorine are inexpensive, use local materials, are easy to manufacture and operate and maintain.


Do you need a chlorinator?

Drinking water chlorination controls waterborne infectious disease and is the most common drinking water disinfectant globally. 

Water chlorination was first proposed in Sweden during the 1740s. By the 1830s, chlorine was being used to remove the smell from water and for killing microorganisms. The UK began routinely chlorinating drinking water in 1890 and the U.S. and Canada started using chlorination at the start of the 20th century. Use of chlorine in this way is correlated with a more than 60% drop in infection rate of typhoid fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

According to the CDC, using or drinking water with small amounts of chlorine does not cause harmful health effects. Chlorination has impacted sanitation by reducing most bacteria and viruses in water, protecting against recontamination with ease-of-use while remaining low in cost.

About the Author

Cristina Tuser

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