Conventional treatment plants use chlorination as the final treatment process to reduce bacterial concentrations. Prechlorination is performed on plant influent if the incoming sewage is septic or the flows are low and plant holdup time allows waste to become septic. Prechlori-nation is usually at a fixed dosage, and a residual chlorine level is not maintained. Postchlorination provides 15 to 30 min detention time in a baffled, closed tank to prevent short-circuiting and dissipation of the chlorine. Chlori-
nation is not frequently used to reduce the BOD in the plant effluent. Ordinarily, a combined chlorine residual between 0.2 and 1 mg/l is the target for the final effluent.
Disinfection should kill or inactivate all disease-producing (pathogenic) organisms, bacteria, and viruses of intestinal origin (enteric). These microscopic entities can survive in water for weeks. The amount of chlorine required depends on the chlorine demand of the water being disinfected, the amount of disinfectant required as residual, and the detention time during which the disinfectant acts on the organisms. A free-chlorine residual of at least 2 ppm (mg/l) should be attained. Chlorinator capacities should be based on at least 30 min contact time, and water flow rates should coincide with anticipated maximum chlorine demands.
Chlorinators should be accurate over the entire feed range, and standby machines should be available. The wastewater treatment facility should determine the chlorine demand of the raw water frequently enough to adjust the chlorine feed. This procedure is best accomplished by automatic equipment that continuously determines the residual chlorine content of treated water and adjusts the chlorine dosage accordingly.
A free-chlorine residual of not less than 0.3 ppm should be maintained in the active parts of the water distribution system. Where large, open (uncovered) reservoirs of finished water exist, auxiliary disinfection must be provided. The disinfection of newly laid or extensively repaired water mains is also required, and procedures for this operation are prescribed in standards.
Disinfection by chlorine, in addition to eliminating pathogenic organisms, also controls taste and odor through breakpoint chlorination. This process is the addition of sufficient chlorine to destroy or oxidize all substances that create a chlorine demand with excess chlorine remaining in the free-residual state. Figure 7.30.1 shows this process and its effects. A free-chlorine residual is that part of the total residual remaining in the water (after a specified contact period) that reacts chemically and biologically as hypochlorous acid or a hypochlorite ion.
The effectiveness of chlorine disinfection is a function of contact time, pH, and temperature. Figure 7.30.4 shows these relationships. Providing adequate contact time and dosage is especially important with respect to viruses. Virus particles have been isolated that have escaped treatment processes, but clarification and disinfection of water afford a high measure of protection against viruses.
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