Using Dry Chlorine Powder/Granules for disinfecting water

Because of the danger associated with both storing and using it, the Church does not recommend it. Recognizing that some people are looking for a compact, non-deteriorating substitute for chlorine bleach (which frequently contains other harmful chemicals as well), I asked a chemist for measurements for appropriate use of dry chlorine for water disinfection. This handout is the result of that conversation and is being provided to assist you in properly and safely using dry powder/granule chlorine.

Dry chlorine powder/granules, stored in water-tight plastic or glass containers can be stored indefinitely, HOWEVER, it is HIGHLY CORROSIVE and must be kept away from children and anyone else that has limited cognition.

Does someone in your family have trouble remembering if they have taken daily medication?

Keep them away from this substance!!!

Granules to use for drinking water:

1/10 (0.1) tsp granules for 20 gals of water

3/20 (0.15) tsp granules for 30 gal water

2.8/10 (0.28) tsp granules for 55 gal water

Since these amounts are very difficult to measure accurately, the better way is to make a solution similar to liquid bleach that is then used to treat the water for drinking.  Remember though that liquid chlorine has an effective shelf life of only about 6 months. In other words, that bottle of bleach you bought at the store a year ago is no longer good for water disinfection. In fact, it may not have been good for disinfection the day you brought it home! (Think manufacture, bottle, warehouse storage, shipping, more warehouse storage, more shipping…) Yes, it still smells of chlorine and can be used for clothes/stains, but it’s simply not trustworthy for drinking water.

Recommendation for use:

Add 1/2 tsp granules to 1 gallon of clean water to make 1 gallon of disinfectant solution, or 1/4 tsp to make 2 quarts solution. This solution is still highly caustic and should be stored in plastic in an area that children and those with reduced cognition cannot accidentally access it. I recommend using a combination rotary type padlock to secure both the solution and the dry powder.

Add this many ounces of solution above to clear water for treatment to disinfect it for drinking water:

1.28 oz for 1 gallon water

6.4 oz for 5 gals water

12.8 oz (1 cup + 4.8 oz) for 10 gals water

25.6 oz (3 cups + 1.6 oz) for 20 gals water

38.4 oz (4 cups + 6.4 oz) for 30 gals water

51.2 oz (6 cups + 3.2 oz) for 40 gals water

70.4 oz (8 cups + 6.4 oz) for 55 gals water

Again, it’s a bit tricky, and the safest thing to do, from several perspectives, is to measure as close as you can, but do not use metal measuring utensils, then let the treated water sit, open to the air, for at least 24 hours prior to use. By then, the chlorine smell should be barely noticeable.

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