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Chlorine Dioxide In Water Treatment

What is Chlorine Dioxide Gas?

Chlorine dioxide is a popular chemical compound used as an oxidizing agent in bleaching and water treatment. The substance is yellowish to green in color with a strong odor. It is used as a disinfectant and an oxidant in drinking water treatment.

This chemical substance is considered one of the more effective chemicals for the control of waterborne pathogens. However, it has its disadvantages when used in potable water treatment.

What Is The Process to Produce Chlorine Dioxide?

Chlorine dioxide is formulated as a volatile gas that must be produced on-site with sophisticated chemical-generation equipment. This is a complicated industrial process involving the dissolution of chlorate ions in a sulfuric acid solution.

For point-of-use treatment of water, chlorine dioxide is produced on-site from the reaction of sodium chlorite with acid.

Disinfection byproducts, including chlorite and chlorite ions, form when chlorine dioxide reacts with dissolved organic compounds in water treatment systems.

Chlorite ions can easily move into groundwater since they are mobile in water. This can lead to unpleasant tastes in water but rarely poses a public health risk.

Chlorine Dioxide Use

Chlorine gas is a severe eye irritant that can cause severe headaches and other harmful effects. It can even be fatal at high doses for most animals. But at low levels, chlorine dioxide is a powerful disinfectant that is used in bleaching, water chlorination, and other disinfection treatment, as well as industrial and medical applications.

Chlorine Dioxide Water Treatment

Chlorine dioxide disinfection is used to disinfect water in the public drinking water supply. At low concentrations, chlorine dioxide kills bacteria, other microorganisms, and other contaminants in water, making it safe to drink.

Since human health is so dependent on a steady supply of clean drinking water, this process is a key component in improving water quality and effective public health administration.

Paper Processing

In the paper industry, chlorine dioxide is a key component used to chemically process and bleach wood pulp. The chlorine ions combine with the chemical elements in the wood to create high-quality, bright pulp.

Chlorine dioxide is used in other process streams involving wastewater and sludge as well.

Medical and Laboratory Equipment

Chlorine gas is highly effective as a sterilant to sterilize syringes and complex medical equipment. Chlorine dioxide is also sold as a pseudomedicine to treat a wide range of diseases. It is sold as a magic cure in today’s market. Unfortunately, the FDA has warned against the use of chlorine dioxide as a medicine for various diseases.

How Does Chlorine Dioxide Get into Your Drinking Water?

Chlorine dioxide production mostly occurs to use as a disinfectant and oxidant in drinking water treatment. The water additive is used to control bad microorganisms in drinking water. Chlorine dioxide is also added to water to control its taste and odor.

How Common is Chlorine Dioxide in Water Treatment?

The chemical compound can be found in most treated water systems since it is used in the process of disinfecting drinking water. Chlorine Dioxide water treatment is quite common in most water systems to control microbes and other harmful byproducts in drinking water. In fact, chlorine dioxide use is a standard practice in every municipality in the United States.

What are the Health Risks Associated with Chlorine Dioxide in Drinking Water?

Exposure to chlorine dioxide from the consumption of chlorinated drinking water may lead to the development of nervous system problems. Pregnant women, infants, and young children are prone to health problems associated with chlorine dioxide. Individuals who consumed chlorinated drinking water above the EPA’s contamination level standards for a long time may experience anemia.

What is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Contamination Level Standards for Chlorine Dioxide in Drinking Water?

The MRDLG and MRDL for chlorine dioxide in drinking water is set by the EPA at 0.8 mg/L or 800 ppb.

What is the Best Reduction Media for Removing Chlorine Dioxide from Drinking Water?

The control of treatment and disinfection processes will greatly reduce the contamination level to below the EPA’s drinking water standards. Additionally, the installation of water filter systems can significantly remove the disinfection byproduct from your drinking water.

An AquaOx whole house water filter system can eliminate chlorine dioxide and other water additives from tap water. If you want to protect your family from the health risks associated with contaminants in your drinking water, install a good water filter system today!

From The Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

CAS#: 10049-04-4 (Chlorine Dioxide); 7758-19-2 (Chlorite)

Chlorine dioxide is a yellow to reddish-yellow gas that can decompose rapidly in air. Because it is a hazardous gas, chlorine dioxide is always made at the location where it is used. This chemical compound is used as a bleach at pulp mills, which make paper and paper products, and in public water-treatment facilities, to make water safe for drinking. It has also been used to decontaminate public buildings.

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The gas known as chlorine dioxide is soluble in water and will react rapidly with other compounds. When it reacts in water, chlorine dioxide forms chlorite ion, which is also a very reactive chemical. Because chlorine dioxide is very reactive, it is able to kill bacteria and microorganisms in water.

About 5% of large water-treatment facilities (serving more than 100,000 persons) in the United States use chlorine dioxide to treat drinking water. An estimated 12 million persons may be exposed in this way to chlorine dioxide and chlorite ions. In communities that use chlorine dioxide to treat drinking water, chlorine dioxide and its by-product, chlorite ions, may be present at low levels in tap water.

In this profile, the term “chlorite” will be used to refer to “chlorite ion,” which is a water-soluble ion. Chlorite ions can combine with metal ions to form solid salts (e.g., sodium chlorite). Sodium chlorite dissolves in water and forms chlorite ions and sodium ions. More than 80% of all chlorite (present as sodium chlorite) is used to make chlorine dioxide to disinfect drinking water. Sodium chlorite is also used as a disinfectant to kill germs.

Chlorine Dioxide molecule
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