The EPA and GA EPD require public water systems to disinfect drinking water. Disinfection is a necessary step in our treatment process to eliminate pathogens to prevent illness and protect public health. The practice of disinfection in the United States has nearly eliminated most acute waterborne diseases, including cholera, typhoid fever, and many other illnesses.
The most widely used type of disinfection in the United States is chlorination. The Public Utilities Department produces sodium hypochlorite, commonly known as bleach, at the J.G. Beacham Drinking Water Treatment Plant for this purpose. The disinfectant is added at the end of the treatment process to prevent the growth of bacteria as it travels to homes and businesses across Athens.