This is the same question that I asked before, only for another product this time. I have more detailed information about this product, including a data sheet.

There is an 8000 liter tank containing water for household use like showers and washing dishes and clothes (but not drinking or cooking). For more details, read here or here.

I need to combat harmful organisms and microorganisms in the tank, but I live in a remote rural area and can't just buy any chemicals I want. Thus, I am asking whether this product will work.

Here are the ingredients of the product:

Sodium Hypochlorite
Sodium Chloride
Sodium Carbonate
Sodium Chlorate
Sodium Hydroxide
Sodium Polyacrylate

Here is a full data sheet.

If this product is suitable, what is a good amount and frequency?

If this product is not suitable, which ingredient is the culprit?

  • $\begingroup$ The last time I checked it, microorganisms were pretty small (I think even so small so that you can't seem them with the bare eye). While the chemicals are all more or less harmless I wouldn't underestimate the potential danger of the microorganisms -- even if you can't see them after cleaning. So I would definitely consider checking the water quality afterwards. There should be lots of options available to let the water quality get checked by a professional institution (probably depends on the country), so I think this is very commonly done/cheap. $\endgroup$ – logical x 2 Jun 15 '17 at 10:45

When you start asking questions about chemistry you are only left with more questions... in general terms of safety, using household bleach to create a concentration of 1 - 3 ppm sodium hypochlorite is relatively safe (especially compared with sewage). In specific terms, the answer is two-fold; you have to consider the amount of exposure and the component's toxicity (the difference between medicine and poison is the dose).

It is important to note that the SDS for household bleach only lists sodium hypochlorite in the hazardous ingredients section. This directly implies that the only chemical of significant hazard in the bottle is sodium hypochlorite, and the rest of the ingredients are not present in sufficient amounts to cause issues.

First let's look at what thise things are:

  • Water : you know
  • Sodium Hypochlorite : bleach- household bleach is made from chlorine, caustic soda, and water and DC current (electrolysis).
  • Sodium Chloride : table salt, leftover from production or evaporation of water and chlorine.
  • Sodium Carbonate : washing soda- kind of like baking soda but about 40% stronger. This may be considered a buffer or stabilizer or byproduct.
  • Sodium Chlorate : when bleach is cooked/boiled (and dried), the leftover crusty stuff is salt and sodium chlorate... so this would be a byproduct, probably only in a very tiny amount.
  • Sodium Hydroxide : lye (caustic soda, NaOH) - household bleach solutions are typically stabilized by lye as part of the manufacturing process. Lye is used for raising the pH of drinking water and for making many things including soap.
  • Sodium Polyacrylate : thickening agent - It may be used in food, toothpaste, and shampoo.

APPROXIMATE Household Bleach Amounts:

  • Water : 93%
  • Sodium Hypochlorite : 5.5%
  • Sodium Chloride : 0 - 2%
  • Sodium Carbonate : guestimating 0 - 0.2%
  • Sodium Chlorate : guestimating ~ 0 - 0.2%
  • Sodium Hydroxide : since the pH of bleach is about 11, the amount of sodium hydroxide must be less than 0.001 molarity, so less than 0.004%
  • Sodium Polyacrylate : based on the viscosity of bleach and my personal experience with this thickening agent, about 0.5%.

Now lets look at the LD50 (a general measure of toxicity). The LD50 is the amount of material necessary to kill 50% of the test subject (usually rats). For these chemicals I listed acute (hard and heavy) oral dosage. Chronic exposure may be more relevant because you will not be drinking this, but chronic exposure data is also far more difficult to measure accurately, and with respect to all of these chemicals, chronic effects are generally nil, so I wouldn't have anything to say.

  • Water : greater than 90,000mg/kg, rat (yet drowning causes more deaths than all of the following chemicals combined)
  • Sodium Hypochlorite : 8910 mg/kg, rat
  • Sodium Chloride : 12357 mg/kg, human
  • Sodium Carbonate : 4090 mg/kg, rat
  • Sodium Chlorate : 1,200- 7,000 mg/kg, rat
  • Sodium Hydroxide : 100mg/kg, rat
  • Sodium Polyacrylate : greater than 2000 mg/kg, rat. When something is above 2000 mg/kg the exact lethal dose is often not pursued.
  • $\begingroup$ Great answer. Much appreciated. I have applied this for the first time. It smelled and felt pretty much like a swimming pool, sort of like expected. I will have to find an ideal amount considering both effects on skin/smell and disinfection properties. $\endgroup$ – Fiksdal Jun 14 '16 at 9:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Fiksdal Don't forget about the pump/filter. It will help prevent settling and/or uneven concentrations of chlorine, and keep debris out of the pipes. $\endgroup$ – Ben Welborn Jun 14 '16 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ Such a product isn't available in this remote area. I'd have to try and get it imported from elsewhere. The inlets are covered by filters, so it's not a huge problem. Some dead bugs do accumulate in the tank, but I could use a net to scoop them out. I'll think about it. $\endgroup$ – Fiksdal Jun 14 '16 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Fiksdal I'm sorry to hear that you have difficulty obtaining stuff. Any water pump that can pump 2500 gallons per hour (9500 liters per hour) should work... it only needs to run a few hours per day. Circulating the water is kind of important. $\endgroup$ – Ben Welborn Jun 14 '16 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ Alright, I'll look into it. $\endgroup$ – Fiksdal Jun 14 '16 at 14:24

The biggest concern that I see is that this product causes skin and eye irritation, and thus I would not advise using a water supply treated with it for taking a shower. Also, the safety recommendations say to take off and wash clothing contaminated with this compound. As such, I would be careful using this product in a water supply for laundry, showering, and dish washing. While you should be careful with this product, if it is your only option, you should be able to use it to clean the water tank if it is rinsed out. I don't know if this was your plan, but just adding this to your water would probably be a bad idea. On another note, I am a student of chemistry, and you should take what I have to say about this with a grain of salt. I hope this helps!

  • $\begingroup$ I think the key here would be the concentration. Normally, one would put 100 ml of this product into a bucket of 10 liters. That's the dilution ration they are warning about. At that ratio the solution will bleach clothes. I'm thinking of putting 100 ml into a tank of 8000 liters. I know that many of the ingredients in the product are used for water treatment. Are there any of the ingredients you are concerned about? $\endgroup$ – Fiksdal Jun 8 '16 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ I would be very careful about using it. I don't know if this is an option, but you will probably be better off emptying the tank, using the disinfectant to rinse it clean, and rinse it out before refilling. IDK if this is possible for you, but you don't want to damage your eyes. $\endgroup$ – Niels Kornerup Jun 8 '16 at 18:40
  • $\begingroup$ You should probably have some one else verify that this will work too, I would not just take my suggestion. $\endgroup$ – Niels Kornerup Jun 8 '16 at 22:19
  • $\begingroup$ Sure! I'm waiting for more answers :) $\endgroup$ – Fiksdal Jun 8 '16 at 22:23

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