Inexpensive Drinking Water Chlorination Unit for Small Communities

EPA Contract Number: EPD09046
Title: Inexpensive Drinking Water Chlorination Unit for Small Communities
Investigators: Kimble, Michael C.
Small Business: Reactive Innovations, LLC
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: II
Project Period: March 1, 2009 through February 28, 2011
Project Amount: $224,947
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2009) Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Agriculture and Rural Community Improvement , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Over 250 drinking water systems exist for small communities in Puerto Rico that serve 25-500 individuals. These water systems fall outside of Puerto Rico Aquaduct and Sewer Authority and, thus, have no or insufficient water treatment systems. Water sources for these communities are from ground and surface water with flow rate up to 50,000 gallons per day for a community of 500 people. To improve upon this water treatment process, the EPA desires improved novel filtration and chlorination methods that can disinfect and filter these drinking water sources. To address this need, Reactive Innovations, LLC conducted a Phase I SBIR program to develop an on-site hypochlorite generator to continuously chlorinate surface groundwater. During the Phase I program, we showed that our electro-chemical reactor technology can produce hypochlorite for varying water flow rates upwards to 50,000 gallons per day and required disinfection levels up to t ppm of equivalent chlorine. The major focus of our water chlorination unit is to minimize its initial and operating costs, thus, the system has few components other than the hypochlorite reactor, a tank of salt, and a power supply, All of the process water flows through the electrochemical reactor to produce bleach in situ with the flowing water stream and, thus, eliminates slip stream pumps and control systems. The improved design of our electro-chemical reactor will help to lower the system cost, one of the major drivers for deploying a water disinfection system into the marketplace. For the Phase II program, we will scale the hypochlorite generator to larger process flow rates, continue minimizing the system complexity and cost, and develop operational hypochlorite generations systems that can operate unattended for one-year at process rates of 50,000 gallons per day. Commercialization of the technology will be done in concert with water equipment manufacturers and water system providers. Verification of the technology will be conducted via an outside organization through the EPA’s Environmental Technology Verification program.

The immediate application of this electrochemical reactor technology is toward an improved chlorination process for small communities in Puerto Rico. The modular design of the reactor technology will allow us to scale it ot medium and large water disinfection systems as well as scale it ot produce higher levels of sodium hypochlorite for wastewater cleanup.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final

  • SBIR Phase I:

    Inexpensive Drinking Water Chlorination Unit for Small Communities