Chlorination (or more generally halogenation) has become a default practice in swimming pool operation and maintenance programs. Chlorine is known to be effective for control of most bacteria and viruses, and is also a powerful oxidant; both attributes can be beneficial in swimming pool settings. However, chlorine also reacts with a wide range of constituents that are introduced to swimming pools. The results of these reactions include formation of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) and decreases in the concentration of available free chlorine in a pool (i.e. chlorine demand). In addition, chlorine is known to be ineffective for control of protozoan parasites, such as Cryptosporidium parvum, that have been associated with a large fraction of recreational water illnesses of microbial origin.
This class will provide information about the chemistry that governs the behavior of chlorine in swimming pool settings as a disinfectant, as an oxidant, and as a precursor to DBP formation. Information will be presented to indicate the nature of the reaction products, the rates of these reactions, and their implications with regard to chlorine consumption in pools.