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December 5, 1936

WATER FILTRATION VERSUS CHLORINATION

JAMA. 1936;107(23):1910. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770490064026

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  The editorial in The Journal, October 31, on water filtration versus chlorination fails to take cognizance of certain practical questions. The blunt assertion is made that, "if a bacteriologically safe drinking water is desired, it may be obtained by chlorination." Actually this statement might be approximately true if one were to put in a hundred or a thousand times as much chlorine as could be absorbed by the organic matter during periods of low pollution. This would be necessary, because the degree of pollution of large sources changes suddenly and enormously, as the reports of the Chicago Board of Health show. No one would drink really safe chlorinated water. In practice it is impossible to make large water supplies safe by chlorination alone.The editorial does not consider the fact that filtration does not supplant chlorination but only supplements it. The initial chlorination can be carried on

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