Superchlorination

Definition - What does Superchlorination mean?

Superchlorination is a water treatment process in which the addition of excess amounts of chlorine to a water supply speed chemical reactions or insure disinfection within a short contact time.

Superchlorination is most commonly used when water has very high bacteria content and generally comes from river sources or where some form of pollution has occurred. It is also an important part of swimming pool maintenance because it keeps chlorine content at the right level to effectively kill off bacteria and other contaminants.

Superchlorination is also known as shocking.

Corrosionpedia explains Superchlorination

Superchlorination is a process in which the chlorine level in water is raised to abnormally high levels over a very short period of time, usually a few hours. Over time and with extended use, organic wastes build up in pool water. These include body oils/sweat, other body fluids and suntan lotions. Generally, one gallon of liquid chlorine is needed for every 10,000 gallons of pool water.

Superchlorination is used in heavily polluted water, as well as in the orthotolidine test and orthotolidine arsenite test.

Superchlorination causes:

  • Corrosion of equipment
  • Bleaching of hair and cloth
  • Foul-smelling water

The chlorine residual following superchlorination is high enough to be unpalatable, and thus dechlorination is commonly employed before the water is used.

It is recommended that superchlorination take place in the evening, after the sun has set, since this is when the pool is not being used and treatment will not be removed by UV rays from the sun before it has the opportunity to perform its function. Chlorine pool owners generally use either calcium hypochlorite or lithium hypochlorite for superchlorination.

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