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Water treatment is critical in the process of delivering clean, safe-to-use water in hospitals, industrial facility cooling towers, homes and residences, and all other types of buildings. For large-scale facility water treatment, there are several technologies and methods available to treat water systems, each with its own sets of advantages and disadvantages. In addition to Chlorine Dioxide generators and chemical, common alternatives include copper-silver ionization, chlorine, and monochloramines.

Copper-Silver Ionization Water Treatment

Copper-silver ionization is a water disinfection technology runs water through a chamber filled with copper and silver electrodes, which release ions into the water. These ions are effective at killing a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. The advantages of copper-silver ionization treatment includes:

  • Used on hot and cold water systems
  • Does not produce THM’s of HAA5’s
  • Is not corrosive (but can leave copper deposits)
  • Below the EPA Safe Water Drinking Act Lead and Copper Rule AL for copper

These are great advantages when it comes to treating water. But like any solution, there are disadvantages for copper-silver ionization, including:

  • Unable to break down biofilm at normal operating conditions
  • Not used for remediation of Legionella and other water borne pathogens
  • Remote monitoring of copper and silver levels are not available
  • EPA has not approved copper-silver ionization as a Drinking Water Disinfectant

 

Chlorine or Sodium Hypochlorite Water Treatment

Chlorine is a widely utilized water disinfection technology. Chlorine is relatively inexpensive and easy to use, and it is widely available in liquid and gas forms. The main advantages of utilizing a chlorine sodium hypochlorite solution for water treatment includes:

  • Used on cold water and hot water (although not normally done) systems
  • Used for remediation of Legionella and waterborne pathogens
  • Remote chemical monitoring and control
  • Impact on dialysis is equipment is low with below 4ppm, as carbon filtration effectively removes chlorine and by-products prior to the RO membrane
  • EPA recognized drinking water disinfectant

There are some pretty significant disadvantages when it comes to utilizing a chlorine treatment option:

  • Chlorine or sodium hypochlorite produces THM’s and HAA5’s, negative environmental and health effects
  • At normal operating conditions, chlorine minimally breaks down and inhibits biofilm
  • Chlorine has corrosion concerns for equipment and systems
  • Sodium hypochlorite has minimal short term residual effectiveness against Legionella

 

Monochloramines (Sodium Hypochlorite and Ammonia) Water Treatment

Monochloramines are a type of chloramines that are used as a secondary disinfectant in water treatment plants, mostly in the US. They are formed by mixing chlorine and ammonia, which results in a more stable and longer-lasting disinfectant than chlorine. Monochloramines are highly effective against bacteria and viruses, however, are less effective against protozoan parasites such as cryptosporidium and giardia. Some of the advantages of monochloramines include:

  • Used on cold water and hot water (although not normally done) systems
  • Impact on dialysis is equipment is low with below 4ppm, as carbon filtration effectively removes chlorine and by-products prior to the RO membrane
  • Used for remediation of Legionella and other waterborne pathogens with flushing of water and long contact time
  • EPA recognized drinking water disinfectant

 

Like chlorine, there are concerns and similar disadvantages in using monochloramines:

  • Produces THM’s and HAA5’s, negative environmental and health effects
  • At normal operating conditions, chlorine minimally breaks down and inhibits biofilm
  • Chlorine has corrosion concerns for equipment and systems
  • Minimal short term residual effectiveness against Legionella
  • No remote chemical monitoring available – this must be calculated based on chlorine levels and gpm to establish a monochloramine level!

 

Chlorine Dioxide Generator Water Treatment

These three water treatment options have overlapping qualities and often are used as alternatives to Chlorine Dioxide. While these are common solutions, they often come short when compared to chlorine dioxide generators and chlorine dioxide water treatment. Advantages of using Chlorine Dioxide for water treatment include:

  • Used on cold water and hot water systems
  • Does not produce THM’s and HAA5’s
  • Short term residual effectiveness against Legionella and used for
  • Breaks down and inhibits biofilm at normal operating conditions
  • Minimal corrosion (less than chlorine and monochloramine)
  • Below 0.8ppm carbon filtration effectively removes by-products before RO membrane
  • Short term residual effective against Legionella and used for remediation of Legionella and waterborne pathogens with flushing of water and short contact time for effectiveness
  • Remote chlorine dioxide monitoring
  • EPA recognized drinking water disinfectant

The main disadvantage of utilizing a chlorine dioxide chemical treatment includes that chlorine dioxide removing biofilm which protects piping from chlorine and monochloramine chemicals. Piping could be exposed to the chemicals which could affect possible pin hole leaks. This can be resolved by relining piping with silica to protect material from chlorine and monochloramine chemicals.

 

While there are alternatives to chlorine dioxide generators, there are vast advantages in using a chlorine dioxide generator for water treatment. PureLine specializes in the manufacture and generation of chlorine dioxide, and offers scalable generator solutions for hospitals, cooling towers, pulp and paper, and other water treatment applications. Fill out the contact form below, and a PureLine representative will reach out to discuss whether a chlorine dioxide generator is a fit for your business.

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