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Kazakhstan to give up chlorine water purification soon

©aktau-site.ru ©aktau-site.ru

Kazakhstan will start producing and using new water treatment systems that use carbon filters and ultraviolet light this fall, Tengrinews reports, quotes Sergey Yefremov, an expert in the field, as saying.

Yefremov is the head of composites laboratory at the R&D Center of Physical-and-Chemical Methods of the Al-Farabi University in Almaty. The new method will enable Kazakhstan to abandon the use of chlorine in tap water treatment, he said.

The running tests were initially scheduled for the spring of 2014, however, there were problems in the system that took a whole season to eliminate.

Now the researchers are confident that the test will be successful and are planning to start commercial production of the invention immediately after. The system will most probably be first used in Karaganda water utilities in central Kazakhstan.

The water treatment system employs activated carbon filters on pH neutral (pH 7) base. Filters are paired with UV emitters, which destroy bacteria. 

The special carbon filters needed for the new system will be produced by a plant in Almaty Oblast, Yefremov said.

Similar carbon sorbents are already produced by Zhambyl Phosphorus Plant, where they are used to clean yellow phosphorus from organic compounds. 

UV-based systems can destroy 99.99% of harmful microorganisms and are a sound substitution for chemicals. However it is effective  only for treating small amounts of water where period of exposure to UV light is prolonged whereas Kazakhstan is planning to install the system at large municipal water utilities where the amounts of water are huge.    
Kazakhstan currently uses liquid chlorine or calcium hypochloride to treat its tap water.

Use of chlorine for this purpose has been abandoned in many countries after scientists found that this method is harmful to humans. Chlorine is a very chemically active element that forms various carcinogenic and toxic components.

For example, in Russia chlorine was substituted by sodium hypochlorite obtained from sodium salt also known as kitchen salt. 

Reporting by Dmitry Khegai, writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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