What Is Breakpoint Chlorination?


Quick Answer

Breakpoint chlorination is the most common form of chlorination. It occurs when chlorine is added past its breakpoint. When this happens, the chlorine reacts with water, forming hypochlorous acid. The amount of acid formed is in direct proportion to the amount of excess chlorine added.

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Full Answer

The breakpoint occurs when chlorine reacts with all the reducing agents, organics and ammonia found in water. When this happens, the chlorine demand is satisfied completely. When the breakpoint is exceeded, a free chlorine residual is formed.

A chemical reaction always occurs when chlorine is added to water because chlorine reacts with the water itself as well as compounds found in the water. One of the results of this reaction is the death of microorganisms found in the water.

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