106 years of continuous chlorine use


September 26, 2014 makes the 106th anniversary of the continuous use of chlorine in water supplies. This is the longest period of disinfection in the world and was developed by Dr. John L. Leal.

History of chlorine 

In the early 1900s, typhoid fever and other diseases were becoming major public health concerns around the country due to sewer contamination of the water supplies. Dr. Leal identified chlorine as the best method for combatting this contamination.

This implementation was not without its challenges. The residents of Jersey City, New Jersey were hesitate and distrustful of additives in their drinking water, so Leal and other public health officials worked to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of the chlorine. Working with one of the premier engineers of the time, George Warren Fuller, they created the first large-scale system for adding chlorine to water in 99 days. The system used a concentrated solution of chlorine and diluted it into the water system, before gravity delivered it to the Jersey City water supply.

Water quality today

This discovery and implementation has paved the way for the safe and reliable drinking water we have today. To read about the quality of water in the Town of Marana, visit the water quality page. 

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