Chlorine, as such or in the form of sodium hypochlorite, is the most widely used water disinfectant in the world cause to its effectiveness, low cost and easy use.
According to the World Health Organization: “Disinfection with chlorine is the best guarantee of microbiologically potable water”. Due to its properties, chlorine is effective to combat all types of microbes contained in water, which include bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast, and algae and limes that proliferate inside the supply pipes and storage tanks.
Only chlorination ensures that the treated water is kept free of germs during transit through deposits before reaching the tap, as well as being the most economical method.
Since the mid-nineteenth century the effects of chlorine were discovered to make water drinkable, the incidence of devastating infectious diseases -cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery, gastroenteritis, etc.- has diminished, in some cases to the point of eradication. As the North American magazine Life describes: “The leakage of drinking water and the use of chlorine is likely to be the most significant public health advance of the past millennium”. The developed countries should thank chlorine for its outstanding contribution in the 30-year increase in the life expectancy of its citizens in the last century.
Therefore, chlorination is the most widespread method of water purification on the planet, in the fact that 98% of the water supplied in Western Europe has been disinfected with chlorine.