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Water Lecture 3 A. Disinfection B. Water Safety Plans - page 25 / 47

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Free Chlorine and Microbial Inactivation

Greater microbial inactivation at lower pH (HOCl) than at high pH (OCl-)

Probably due to greater reactivity of the neutral chemical species with the microbes and its constituents

Main functional targets of inactivation:

Bacteria: respiratory activities, transport activities, nucleic acid synthesis.

Viruses: reaction with both protein coat (capsid) and nucleic acid genome

Parasites:  mode of action is uncertain

Resistance of Cryptosporidium to free chlorine (and monochloramine) has been a problem in drinking water supplies

Free chlorine (bleach) is actually used to excyst C. parvum oocysts!

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