According to a glowing press release, the EPA has fined Public Water Supply District #2 of St. Charles County, MO. for using chlorine gas to disinfect drinking water at its treatment plant in Defiance MO.
The EPA says using chlorine gas is unsafe. Flapdoodle! Bucolic End Product! Green wackos gone rampant!
The release says that the maximum amount of chlorine gas that could be stored in the facility was 2500 lbs. Okay, chlorine comes in 150 lb cylinders and 2000 lb cylinders (ton containers). So what the EPA is saying is that you can't have two ton containers at the same time. So if you run out of chlorine in the middle of the night, you can't auto-switchover to a new cylinder.
This is stupid. Do you all know why we don't have cholera, typhus and diptheria as well as other waterborne diseases? It's because MF Wallace and CW Tiernan figured out how to feed chlorine gas as a disinfectant into the Paramus NJ water reservoir.
Sure, you can use other forms of chlorine other than gas. Their safety records are FAR WORSE than the use of gas chlorine, and they are harder to control, and they are dangerous in themselves.
For example, you can use Calcium Hypochlorite and its derivatives. Cal Hypo is an EXPLOSIVE rapid oxidant, while gas chlorine isn't. There is a case of an escape from a maximum security prison by a machine shop trusty who made a copy of a Sten gun, and used Calcium Hypochlorite as his propellant.
You can use Sodium Hypochlorite, the 5% solution of which is Clorox. Unfortunately, the amount of chlorine in this liquid mixture decreases with storage age, so it isn't easy to control or feed correctly. It also reacts with any mild acid (vinegar for example) to release chlorine gas. This is a lot easier for a terrorist to deal with than gas chlorine.
And don't forget, these other forms of chlorine, as well as other disinfection methods like ozonation and ultraviolet sterilization, are way more expensive than just feeding chlorine gas. It's YOUR money, folks.
This one really pushed my button. Even a 5 year old can figure out the EPA is just plain nuts on this one.