|Drinking water disinfection in the USA |
For decades, chlorine has played an important role in water treatment. Chlorine is the most widely applied disinfectant. The advantage of chlorine is that is can easily be produced and that it is relatively cheap. Chlorine effectively kills pathogens. It contributes to the reliability of drinking water produced from surface water. Chlorine tablets are used to disinfect water on locations where no collective drinking water treatment takes place. After the discovery of chlorinated byproducts, the use of alternative disinfectants has increased.
In the United States of America, 50% of the drinking water is produced from groundwater. In some cases surface water from rivers and lakes is used. Chlorine is mainly used for the disinfection of drinking water in the USA. In the past few years alternative disinfectants, for example chloramines, have been used to reduce the amount of disinfection byproducts.
Standards for drinking water disinfection in the USA
Clean Water Act
Safe Drinking Water Act
Stage I and Stage II Disinfectant / Disinfectant Byproducts Standard
Table 1: maximum concentrations of disinfectants and disinfection byproducts according to Stage I and II Disinfectants and Disinfectant Byproducts rules.