Opinion: Onsite Electro Chlorination (OSEC) is not desalination

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Traditionally, Ghana Water Company as an entity has relied on the use of chlorine gas as its main mode of disinfecting its treated water.  

Occasionally, it falls on the use of calcium hypochlorite as an alternative, when chlorine gas availability becomes challenged.

The two chemicals, although are useful for the treatment of water in Ghana they are all sourced from overseas manufacturers, at great cost to the Ghanaian Consumer, since the cost of disinfection plays a key role in establishing the total cost of water treatment. In the case of the usage of chlorine gas, aside the high cost, there is this precarious issue of handling and contamination that must remain high on the agenda of its handlers.

Chlorine gas is a very toxic chemical and can easily injure humans and also cause greater damage to the surrounding plant and machinery. Given the toxicity of chlorine, any alternative to its use in Ghana’s water industry must be welcomed with a wide embrace.

To Ghana Water Company, the issue of penalties arising from the delay in returning empty cylinders to the choline gas manufacturer, must also come as a big relief, if a credible alternative to the chlorine gas is brought into the country.

The onsite Electro Chlorination System (OSEC), is an equipment, which relies on the principle of chemical electrolysis to dissociate industrial grade salt (NaCl2) to produce effective chlorine for the disinfection of treated water. Yes, you heard right. It uses salt to produce chlorine (Cl2). Ghana as a country, has the potential to produce both food grade and industrial salt in large quantities, so any technology that seeks to take advantage of this locally available resource must be hailed.

Its primary advantage will be the creation of jobs in the salt winning industry, followed by the subsequent reduction of GWCL’s cost of disinfecting its treated water.

With Evoqua’s capacity to produce plants of generating output of between 0 – 40kg/hr, GWCL will be able to rely entirely on this new system to disinfect its treated water on all of its plants in Ghana. GWCL as a company, will also not have to look for hard cash to transfer to chlorine gas manufacturers in India for the supply of this hazardous Water treatment chemical.

Although, the OSEC plant also generates chlorine, this however, is in solution, and it’s also onsite so the risk of contamination is highly eliminated. Upon the generation of the chlorine solution, the feed pumps which are attached to the plant, feeds the resultant solution through connecting pipes into the treated water, thereby eliminating any possible contact with operations personnel. 

The OSEC Plant by all measure stands to bring serious benefits to GWCL after the successful pilot period, it will only be a matter of natural logic to consider extending its use to all water treatment plant in Ghana so as to give the Ghanaian economy a good shot in the arm.

Forex savings to the national Economy, and job creation through the one district, one factory initiative will bring jobs to our people along our coastal towns.

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger in West Africa have stolen a march on us, by importing food grade salt from Ghana and other places and further refine them to meet the specifications of the OSEC generator.

We are absolutely optimistic that, when approved, we will pilot the use of the OSEC plant in Ghana to a great acclamation