Eric Laurin, Associate/Director, CVL
Coe & Van Loo Consultants Inc. (CVL) in Phoenix, Arizona, has worked with ChlorTainer on a variety of water projects over the past decade for municipal and private water companies. Associate/Director Eric Laurin says there’s one very good reason for that: “There is great care in the design.”Laurin says he was attracted to the “passive” containment abilities of the ChlorTainer system. He first employed ChlorTainer for EPCOR (then known as Arizona American Water Company). He prefers ChlorTainer’s “bottle within a bottle” design concept that traps a potential chlorine gas leak in the small space inside the containment vessel. A traditional system would allow a leak to disperse within the room containing the chlorine cylinders, allowing a large volume of contaminated air to escape into the room. A traditional system requires that this contaminated air be drawn out and treated by scrubbing. By contrast, Laurin describes the ChlorTainer approach of containment as “unique.” And, because ChlorTainer feeds the leaked chlorine back into the delivery system for disinfection, he calls its operation a “seamless part of the delivery system.”
Laurin finds that when designing a gas chlorine disinfection system, the ChlorTainer approach is cost-effective compared to other methods. Also, it allows the water system operator to meet all applicable fire, safety and regulatory agency requirements. In the case of a leak, he says, scrubbing systems require the use of chemicals, blowers and sophisticated controls to perform the cleanup, which is more labor-intensive and expensive in the long run. With ChlorTainer’s low maintenance requirements, simply changing an O-ring once in a while is about all that needs to be done to ensure safety.
A bigger challenge on water plant projects is convincing the public that using chlorine gas is safe. To Laurin, safety protocols, state and federal regulations, all work effectively to ensure safety. For chlorine gas to continue its success in treating water, “Education needs to continue so people are comfortable with it,” says Laurin. “Other methods are not as effective in delivering disinfection to the water system.”
These other techniques use chlorine in a powdered (tablets) or liquid form (bleach) and contain inert materials that reduce the amount of disinfection action when compared to gas chlorine. “You’re not getting the same bang for the buck,” says Laurin.