What is the difference between chlorine and water disinfection? This is one question that many people would like to get an answer to but the truth is that there is no clear cut answer. There are many types of treatment systems and products available in the market today but they do not all work well. In fact, the most effective way to ensure that you and your family remain safe from the risks posed by untreated water is to make sure that you invest in a home water purification system that ensures you get safe clean water in all times.
The main difference between chlorine and water disinfection is that chlorine is an organic compound that naturally occurs in water and it has no other substance added to it like bleach which is a mixture of different elements for instance Sodium, Chlorine, Bromine, Potassium, Carbon Dioxide, Magnesium, Iodine, Hydrochloric Acid, Phosphate, Chloroform and Hydroxyapatite. When chlorine combines with other substances to form different molecules like sodium dichromate, oxygen bleach and minerals like calcium, bromide then the result is what we call chlorine gas. When this gas comes into contact with an infected person’s skin or eyes then a chemical reaction will take place and this will in turn cause irritation. Also, if large amounts of chlorine gas build up in your swimming pool then you can imagine the problems that will arise and the risk of disease. Therefore, whenever you are using a swimming pool disinfectant make sure that the product is certified to be safe for pools and spas.
So, what is the difference between chlorine and bleach then? The natural element chlorine is very effective in killing bacteria present in pools and spas. The reason being that its vapour triggers the suffocation of the bacteria causing it to expire. The liquid itself however is actually made up of a combination of carbon dioxide and hydrogen peroxide with smaller amounts of oxygen and other natural elements like oxygen and sodium. This is why it is called the ‘bleach of the sea’.
Chlorine on the other hand is a more effective chemical that kills the bacteria by using the carbon dioxide as a source of its burning agent. It does not have the same vapour inducing properties as the natural element chlorine. It has been shown to be much more efficient in the cleaning of swimming pools. However, since chlorine is also a very strong oxidizer, it tends to neutralize the oxygen in the water, making it ineffective. It reacts with most chemicals present in the water making it highly dangerous.
There are many cleaners that are used to clean pools and these include such highly advanced and expensive products like the Hypochlorite, Liquid chlorine, Liquid bromine, Quick-cleaning, Purepower, Storm Chemicals and Green Gas. These chemicals kill bacteria by destroying the cysts that produce chloroform gas when they get ingested. However, they are very harsh on the skin and do not look or smell any different to ordinary tap water. They are also very expensive, costly and above all, are hazardous to your health. They can cause breathing difficulties and in rare cases, can even kill.
Since we’re talking about what is the difference between chlorine and bleach here though, I’d like to point out that both are highly effective when it comes to killing bacteria, viruses and fungi but do have differing opinions about what they are actually good for. The most common opinion is that they are equally effective and pose no risks at all when used for disinfecting swimming pools and spas. Some however would disagree, citing cases of skin irritation, headaches, nausea and stomach upsets as examples of what chlorine is said to do to you when you use it for disinfection purposes. So as you can see, there are several different opinions regarding this topic and the best way to find out what exactly is the difference between chlorine and boron, is to test your own waters to see which one suits it best.