Effluents from sewage treatment plants are not allowed to contain residual chlorine in excess of tolerable values as determined by water quality standards. For example, in discharges to trout streams, the residual chlorine should not exceed 0.02 mg/L. Thus, chlorinated effluents should be dechlorinated. Sulfur dioxide, sodium sulfite, sodium metabisulfite, and activated carbon have been used for dechlorination. Because sulfur dioxide, sodium sulfite, and sodium metabisulfite contain sulfur, we will call them sulfur dechlorinating agents. Dechlorination is an oxidation-reduction reaction. The chemical reactions involved in dechlorination are discussed next.
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