Avoiding Major Chlorine Accidents in Water Treatment and Other Applications
It only takes a 0.75 second chlorine leak to require a safety report. Did you know that in the majority of all chlorine leak incidents, major consequences could have been avoided by quickly shutting off the chlorine supply at the tank valve?
Chlorine is found in many processes, including those used to purify water and treat wastewater, as well as processes to make plastics, vinyl and nylon. You’ll find chlorine supports the manufacture of gasoline additives, brake fluid and antifreeze, as well as popular metals such as titanium, magnesium and aluminum.
How can something that is so common also be so dangerous and potentially deadly when used improperly? Chlorine gas is toxic and green-yellow in color at room temperature. It is also water-soluble. At 0.3 to 0.5 ppm, you can start to smell Chlorine gas and trouble soon follows in higher concentrations.
Preventing Chlorine Accidents
Accidental exposure to chlorine gas need not necessarily be deadly when the proper safety procedures and equipment are in place. Both the U.S. EPA and OSHA have strict regulations for the use of Chlorine. Many accidents are preventable with the proper training and toxic gas detection and emergency tank valve shut-off systems.
In the workplace, the use of highly intelligent Chlorine Gas Detection and Tank Valve Shut-Off Systems can prevent potentially deadly accidents. These systems quickly detect gas leaks and then shut off the Chlorine at the tank valve to prevent serious problems. Such systems are suitable for a wide range of industrial environments:
Clean Water Treatment
Chlorine is added to treat drinking water to destroy bacteria and other harmful micro-organisms. It also controls algae and helps improve the taste and smell of fresh water. Chlorinating basins and well sites have small buildings enclosing Chlorine storage tanks with mixing systems. Fans provide a ventilation system, with gas detectors installed for monitoring and alarm purposes in case of a system leak.
For neutralization of effluent, a complete (Cl2) chlorination system is often used at waste treatment facilities. Toxic gas detectors are used to detect chlorine gas at these locations: the chlorine tanks, the chlorine dosing pump, the chlorine mixer and the sampling area.
Toxic Gas Detection and Shut-Off Systems
The heart of any toxic gas shut-off system is the gas detector itself, which first senses the gas leak and then alerts the controller to request the actuator to shutdown the tank valve. The advantage of installing an automated system is that tanks and valves are often in difficult to reach locations—so when there’s a toxic gas leak that’s not the time to send in a technician to shut off the gas.
General Monitors has developed an integrated total solution to toxic gas detection and emergency valve shutdown. The TS4000H Toxic Gas Detector, when combined with an advanced Controller and Actuator, provides highly reliable emergency tank shut-off capability. Designed to support six tanks, this system is ideal for a wide range of applications where chlorine or other toxic gases are an integral part of the process.
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