Chlorination of Water in Public Health Dentistry: Ensuring Safe Drinking Water


Explore the crucial role of chlorination in public health dentistry, its detailed procedure, and its impact on water bodies and distribution systems. Learn about dosage calculation, residual protection, and environmental considerations for effective water disinfection.

Chlorination of Water in Public Health Dentistry

Basic Overview

Chlorination is a crucial method in public health dentistry for disinfecting water and preventing the spread of waterborne diseases. It involves the addition of chlorine-based chemicals to ensure the safety of drinking water for mass populations.

Detailed Analysis

Chlorination plays a vital role in microbial inactivation, oxidation of organic matter, and maintaining residual protection throughout the water distribution system. It involves dosage calculation, application, contact time, and regular monitoring of residual chlorine levels.

Chlorination begins with the preparation of chlorine-based compounds, such as chlorine gas, sodium hypochlorite, or calcium hypochlorite. The dosage is calculated based on water volume and quality. The application of chlorine can occur at various points in the water treatment and distribution process. It undergoes a specific contact time for effective disinfection, and residual chlorine levels are monitored to ensure ongoing protection.

Full Topic Explained in Detail

Chlorination of water is a common method used to disinfect and ensure the safety of drinking water for mass populations. It plays a crucial role in public health, particularly in preventing the spread of waterborne diseases. Here is a detailed explanation of the procedure, role, and action of chlorination on water and its distribution systems:


Chlorination typically involves the addition of chlorine-based chemicals to water. Commonly used compounds include chlorine gas, sodium hypochlorite (liquid bleach), or calcium hypochlorite (solid form).
The choice of chlorine compound depends on factors such as availability, cost, and ease of handling.
Dosage Calculation:

The amount of chlorine added is calculated based on the water's volume, quality, and desired chlorine residual. The goal is to achieve a sufficient concentration of free chlorine to disinfect the water.

Chlorine can be applied at various points in the water treatment and distribution process. It may be added directly to the water source, during treatment processes, or at distribution points.
Contact Time:

The water is then allowed to undergo a specific contact time with the chlorine to ensure effective disinfection. This time may vary based on the chlorine dosage, temperature, and the presence of organic matter.
Residual Monitoring:

Residual chlorine levels are regularly monitored throughout the distribution system to ensure that an adequate concentration is maintained. This residual is crucial for continuous disinfection and preventing the recontamination of water during distribution.

Role and Action:
Microbial Inactivation:

Chlorine acts as a powerful disinfectant, effectively inactivating a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. It disrupts the cellular structures and metabolic processes of these pathogens.
Oxidation of Organic Matter:

Chlorine also oxidizes organic and inorganic substances present in water, helping to reduce unpleasant tastes and odors. This action contributes to the overall improvement of water quality.
Residual Protection:

Maintaining a residual chlorine concentration in the distribution system provides ongoing protection against microbial regrowth and recontamination as water travels from the treatment plant to consumers.

Impact on Water Bodies:
Environmental Considerations:

Chlorination byproducts, such as trihalomethanes (THMs), may form when chlorine reacts with organic matter in water. These byproducts are a concern due to their potential health risks and impact on the environment.
Regulatory Compliance:

Strict regulations and guidelines are in place to monitor and control the levels of residual chlorine and disinfection byproducts to ensure that chlorination meets health and environmental standards.

Tanks and Distribution System:
Tank Disinfection:

Chlorination is often used to disinfect water storage tanks to prevent bacterial growth and ensure the water's safety before it enters the distribution system.
Distribution System Maintenance:

Chlorination is essential to maintain a residual disinfectant throughout the distribution system. Regular flushing and cleaning of pipelines are also conducted to enhance the effectiveness of chlorination.


Tricks to Remember

1. Dosage is critical - calculate based on water volume and quality.
2. Regularly monitor residual chlorine levels for continuous protection.
3. Consider environmental impacts, such as disinfection byproducts.

Definition of Hard Points

Residual Chlorine: The concentration of chlorine remaining in water after the disinfection process.

Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs): Chemical compounds formed when chlorine reacts with organic matter in water, with potential health and environmental concerns.


Chlorination is a powerful tool in maintaining the safety of drinking water for large populations. While it effectively disinfects water, careful monitoring is essential to address environmental concerns and comply with regulations.


to Our Newsletter