Free Available Chlorine (FAC) – Biofilm literally laughs at it

Authors note: A request has been made for a review of this page by suitably qualified Biofilm graduates. I do accept that Socrates is dead – and as a consequence is NOT a professor at MSU and was thus quite clearly unable to email me.
“There are two great 20th Century inventions that have promoted longer human lifespans – antibiotics and chlorination of drinking water” (Nick Hewer Hewitt)

“Chlorine dioxide will become as important to the world
in the next 20 years in the same way that
chlorine was important for the last 100 years.” (Dutrion chemist)

“The fact that recognition of the importance of the biofilm phenomenon is so recent continues to have ramifications on education, health, and industry. Biofilm topics are still rarely covered in key university curricula, such as microbiology, biology, environmental science, health, medicine, and dentistry.” (Montana State University)

“This study shows that the reaction rate of chlorine with cellular biomass is fast enough that diffusion of this disinfectant into the biofilm readily becomes rate limiting. This reaction−diffusion interaction affords an excellent explanation for the poor efficacy of chlorine when used against biofilm microorganisms.” (Montana State University)

“Given the effectiveness of chlorine dioxide on the bench scale, this disinfectant and other alternative disinfectants should be explored. Ozone and peracetic acid are good candidates for study as are peroxide, acidified nitrite, monochloramine and mixed oxidants.” (Ancient 2014 EPA United States) ‘Decontamination of Drinking Water Infrastructure A Literature Review and Summary.’

Of particular interest to the Minister of Health – The true source of catheter infection. And some ‘Super-bug’ resistance. Read about the developing Medical Biofilm scientific discovery here – at Sisson Kayaks.
Final word on a 2017 medical biofilm breakthrough

“Nothing would make me happier than coming-out-of-retirement to head up your restructure team. I could fire 500 Drinking Water minions nation-wide – and the water quality would be just as bad – but get no worse! Simply because these minions – do nothing!” (Anon – hacked intercepted email sent to the Minister of Health)

The human Immune System

Click here for the full report. Everyone should read this. Why the very young and very old need disinfected water. Nick Hewer Hewett was 100% correct. I am on a ‘slippery slope’!

Disinfectants – choices

Throughout the Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand (DWSNZ), the Ministry of Health list many disinfectants – together with their use – in theory. Chlorine, Ozone, Ultra Violet and Chlorine Dioxide.

Chlorine is the one-to-hate – so firstly lets examine (click here) this Water NZ Update 5  – dated November 2016. When I was learning chlorine dosing for the Anakiwa Bay Water Supply Society Inc (ABWSS), I could locate zero chlorination instruction within NZ. I accessed excellent World Health Organisation papers – written in the UK – aimed at developing countries. I also recruited a highly experienced mentor.

Which – in Drinking Water terms – we have yet to even decide to develop! (as clearly stated in the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry Report)

Before bounding further forward – lets go back to that Water NZ Update 5 – and read it twice. Dose-loading, organic-load, sedimentation, temperature, pH acidity, tank lid seal and wildlife intrusion. Hmmmmm. This is more an ART than a Science. A full time job for a highly experienced operator. Its a juggling act.

How I felt when I ran the ABWSS dose pump.

Chlorination is a clever invention. Sightly over-dose the water with Hypochlorite (liquid chlorine) and the water itself RE-MANUFACTURES the residue into another (better for long-run reticulation) acidic chemical.

Please click here to read the science (chemistry – I failed)

Free and combined chlorine – understand the difference

Pure chlorine exists as a molecule as a gas (Cl2 ) and when dissolved in water it will react with water to form mostly hypochlorous acid (HOCl):
Cl2 + H2O ↔ HCl + HOCl
Depending on the pH of the water (see image below), the hypochlorous acid (HOCl) will partially dissociate to the hypochlorite ion (OCl-). Both hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite disinfect water but hypochlorous is acid is a more effective disinfectant.

Confused? I am. pH has huge effect.

Chicane #1

Only a true PRACTICAL professional – with years of hands-on day-to-day PRACTICAL experience will develop ‘a-feel’ for FAC success. Litmus paper is essential. Thermometer is essential. Such people – who can establish – then maintain FAC – at the required ml / litre are in very short supply. They do NOT teach this skill at university. The graduates employed by the MoH – and their contracted minions – ‘learn’ FAC ‘skills’ by watching a skilled operator.

In the absence of skilled operators – maybe the safest way is to elevate the dose loading. Some media reports talk of swim pool Pelintest loadings. Hmmmmmmm.


Regardless of how ‘PURE’ the source water is – if the reticulation pipe interiors are coated with slime (biofilm) – reinfection will occur. The downfall of UV is because UV has zero residual disinfection.

University of Glasgow Title Image from biofilm link below.

Think of the biofilm as a coral reef. A community of life. It is your ‘lucky dip’ as to the nastiness of the infectious critters living within your pipes. Click here to obtain the science and a few horrible magnified images. Click here to watch a very interesting video which explains the mechanism resulting in Legionella. Or maybe check out this Montana University paper.

Credit Montana State University – As I suspected – this is a recent developing science – kicked off in 1990 – and unresolved now. Hence the annual conferences.

Click here to read this very interesting Montana State University 3 page paper.

Chicane #3

As a wonderful 20th century invention, FAC is far from perfect in the 21st century. Our source waters in no way resemble 1950’s source waters. There are better 21st Century products available – but the Ministry of Health have their blinkers firmly fitted

Possibly a Ministry of Health staff member charged with the evaluation of alternate drinking water disinfectants

as you can see. The DWSNZ (law) mentions (click here) chlorine dioxide (which contains zero chlorine) alongside the other disinfectants. In the 20th century chlorine dioxide had to be generated on-site – and used immediately. The plants tended to self-deconstruct (blow up) Click here to see how. In the 21st century

some clever chemists have discovered how to generate the chlorine dioxide GAS – and immediately ENTRAIN the gas within pure water – or into a dissolvable tablet form – such as Dutrion.or BASF Aseptrol or Twin Oxide

Click the image to hear the 21st century facts. If you happen to hate chlorine – this video is a must-watch.

One PURE chlorine dioxide aqueous-solution (click here) product is manufactured 300 metres from the NMDHB Public Health Service office in Richmond, Nelson. Sonya Briggs office.

Miracle water disinfectant – yet to be recognised by MoH. So safe it can be couriered.

I have struggled for almost three years to introduce Warwick Ivory, the ALPHASAN® manufacturer to David Ogilvie, a Ministry of Health scientist. Via the manager of the NMDHB PHS manager, Sonya Briggs – who requested the initial report – mentioned below. It has never happened. The email strings are huge. The official MoH line seems to be that Alphasan is a “chemical concoction” – and it is. Simply because David Ogilvie from the MoH evaluated a sub-standard American disinfectant – of the same brand name. Not the NZ product manufactured by Alpha Environmental Ltd in Richmond, Nelson. I have David Ogilvie’s erroneous report on file. No matter that David Ogilvie’s report made me the laughing stock of the members of ABWSS Inc! The Ministry of Health Illness appears to be staffed by overpaid unresponsive people who will NEVER retract an error.

Sometimes it’s hard being Grahame. Dealing with those who can not listen – because their head is in the sand. The MoH scientific report states that I was a gullible fool. Would you agree Sonya?

David Ogilvie – please read this quote from a simple man. Your three years old scientific report is very very DAMAGING to MY reputation.

Please please click here to view a video presentation of the advantages of chlorine dioxide

Socrates seems to be saying that those-with-all-the-answers – who know nothing of 21st century biofilm removal – are using the incorrect disinfectant in Christchurch. In his email to me – from his Montana State University chair, Socrates sent me the link to this………..WOW!  ‘This study shows that the reaction rate of chlorine with cellular biomass is fast enough that diffusion of this disinfectant into the biofilm readily becomes rate limiting. This reaction−diffusion interaction affords an excellent explanation for the poor efficacy of chlorine when used against biofilm microorganisms.’ 

The retarded penetration of chlorine into artificial biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa entrapped in agarose gel slabs was investigated experimentally and shown to be consistent with an unsteady reaction−diffusion model. A chlorine microelectrode was used to measure transient chlorine concentration profiles in artificial biofilms in a flow cell. While chlorine penetrated relatively quickly into pure agarose films (∼15 min), its penetration into biofilms was greatly retarded when cells were present. The degree of retardation was proportional to the initial cell density in the biofilm. After 3 h of treatment with a flowing chlorine solution, the chlorine concentration at the substratum under a 526 μm thick biofilm containing 14 400 mg L-1 cell mass had only risen to 10% of the bulk solution value. A mathematical model of the transient reaction−diffusion interaction correctly captured the qualitative behavior of experimentally measured chlorine concentration profiles. Parameter values for the simulations were obtained from the literature and from independent investigations of biomass−chlorine reactions using well-mixed suspensions. Kinetic and stoichiometric coefficients for the reactions of agarose and cell mass with chlorine were obtained by fitting a simple first-order (in both reactants) kinetic model to chlorine versus time data. The reaction rate coefficient for chlorine−cell reaction (1.1 × 10-3 L mg-1 s-1) exceeded that of chlorine−agarose reaction (3.7 × 10-6 L mg-1 s-1) by 2 orders of magnitude. The yield coefficient relating the amount of cell mass consumed to the amount of chlorine consumed ranged from 0.6 to 4.3 mg mg-1, depending on the duration of the experiment. This study shows that the reaction rate of chlorine with cellular biomass is fast enough that diffusion of this disinfectant into the biofilm readily becomes rate limiting. This reaction−diffusion interaction affords an excellent explanation for the poor efficacy of chlorine when used against biofilm microorganisms.
Diffusion of Chlorine Dioxide Through Aqueous and Oil Films
Food and Bioproducts Processing 2006 84, 346-352
Chlorine dioxide disinfection of single and dual species biofilms, detached biofilm and planktonic cells
Sabrina Behnke, Anne K. Camper
Biofouling 2012 28 (6), 635-647
Efficacy of Chlorine Dioxide as a Disinfectant for Bacillus Spores in Drinking-Water Biofilms
Ahmed A. Hosni, Jeffery G. Szabo, Paul L. Bishop
Journal of Environmental Engineering 2011 137, 569-574
Bactericidal and sporicidal performance of a polymer-encapsulated chlorine dioxide-coated surface
W.K. Leung, A.P.S. Lau, K.L. Yeung
Journal of Applied Microbiology 2009 106 (10.1111/jam.2009.106.issue-5), 1463-1472

Is the Ministry of Health policy based on David Ogilvie’s erroneous opinion?

When I discussed my own private in-house Alphasan water disinfection with Nick Hewer Hewett (who I greatly admire) he replied that there was no easy way to monitor the dose levels.

Oh yes there is! 21st century electronics

Nick also questioned the dreaded chlorite. I have Hill Laboratories test sheets that

  • Prove that Alphasan IS 100% pure chlorine dioxide
  • Show zero chlorite as supplied from manufacturer
  • Show zero chlorite in a test taken from my kitchen tap

My frustration can only be calmed by twice daily watching (click here) this YouTube  video.

Chicane #4

Biofilm – as I write this – is a huge developing science.

The 2017 edition of the International Biofilm Summit
was a tremendous success!
Thank you to all participants. See you in 2019!

Click here to go to the above website. Did NZ attend?

Maybe – One mention of the words ‘Biofilm’ or ‘dioxide’ at the conference surely induced this effect.

Chicane #5

FAC controls reticulation biofilm – but ONLY the surface of the ‘coral’ community. The moment the plant operator stops juggling (recall that from above) – and the FAC is diminished – the reticulation re-infection is immediate. Faster than the speed of light>>>>>.

Chlorine dioxide – because it is a gas – is capable of penetrating the whole biofilm. (assuming the correct Ct value (Concentration Time)) The chorine dioxide will kill ALL of the biofilm.

Note at the top.
Scholarly articles.
Science. Now some actual practical examples of reality. 200 litres of dead microbes

100 litres of dismantled ‘Microbe City’ Click here to view a video showing typical reticulation ‘microbe-city’ – laughing at us.

Credit Montana State University. These guys just laugh at chlorine – but the MoH have yet to catch up with the 21st century research. Media reports suggest that they ‘increase the chlorine ppm dose’. Futile. Misery.

Scientific fact – Biofilm critters communicate. Laughter is still being investigated. My bet is yes. Credit Montana State University.

The other half of the cut-in-half 200 litre drum. Another 100 litres of dead biofilm – flushed from the water reticulation within a seed raising farm. Photo credit Warwick Ivory. (Who else in NZ is capable of such microbe-city deconstruction?) And when Warwick offered assistance in Havelock North they (effectively) slammed the phone down. Shameful ignorant behaviour against a very gentle man.

200 litres purged instantly in one flush – by Warwick Ivory the Alphasan manufacturer

To the extent that 100% of the biofilm can all be totally flushed from the system. ALL of it. An alternate drinking water source is needed during this process. When my home pipes were being stripped – I forgot one morning. Crunchy crunchy – just like coral would be.

Chicane #6

How does this all apply to the Christchurch chlorination experience of hideous taste and sickening smell? FAC at the correct dose rate has zero taste or smell. Should that FAC be expected to ‘work’ – the by-products will be grit, taste and smell. Within this article there would seem to be an admission that the “pure ChCh bore water” has attracted bacteria from the reticulation biofilm.

And now lets look at the work of a much-lesser Drinking Water administrator than the MoH – and their minions.

EPA/600/R-13/156 | May 2014 |

Decontamination of Drinking Water Infrastructure A Literature Review and Summary. Excerpts below.

Other BAR studies used iron, cement-mortar, and PVC coupons that are representative of water distribution mains currently in service [47]. Free chlorine concentration up to 70 mg/L resulted in 3-log removal of B. globigii spores, but persistence was still observed [48]. Application of chlorine dioxide to the same reactor/coupon set-up resulted in 4-log inactivation of adhered B. globigii over the course of 4 days [49]. Application of 5 mg/L free chlorine resulted in 2 to 4-log removal of B. globigii attached to cement-mortar coupons, with no detectable spores remaining [50].
Alternative disinfectants such as chlorine dioxide have also proven to be effective at decontaminating adhered spores without germination enhancement. Therefore, germination with a chemical suited for the Bacillus species followed by chlorination at least 25 mg/L and introduction of clean water moving at a velocity of at least 1 ft/sec is more effective than chlorination or flushing alone. Alternatively, application of at least 25 mg/L chlorine dioxide is more effective than chlorination at that level in bench scale applications.
Future Biological Agent Research Spore-Forming Bacteria: Given the effectiveness of chlorine dioxide on the bench scale, this disinfectant and other alternative disinfectants should be explored. Ozone and peracetic acid are good candidates for study as are peroxide, acidified nitrite, monochloramine and mixed oxidants.
Techniques such as germinating spores before chlorination or using an alternative disinfectant such as chlorine dioxide have shown promise.
49. Hosni, A.A., J.G. Szabo, and P.L. Bishop, The efficacy of chlorine dioxide as a disinfectant for Bacillus spores in drinking water biofilms. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 2011.
81. Sproul, O.J., et al., Comparison of chlorine and chlorine dioxide for the inactivation of an amoebic cyst. Environmental Technology, 1983. 4(8): p. 335 – 342.
82. Thurston-Enriquez, J.A., et al., Inactivation of enteric Adenovirus and feline Calicivirus by chlorine dioxide. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2005. 71(6): p. 3100-3105.

The above was published four years ago. I found it after a five minute Google Search. Just what do the MoH Drinking Water staff and their minions do?

The pure science. Click here to study this 2012 paper from (sigh) Montana State University. The MoH should employ MSU graduates today – and fly them to NZ tomorrow. Enlightenment would ensue.

Chicane #7

Should the monitoring test be negative – disinfection (chlorination) is required

How many earthquake reticulation repairs? Monitoring? Disinfection? I was not there. I have no idea.

Chicane #8

I have no idea. Maybe my readers may know. As for me – I will just keep watching John Cleese – and reading Socrates twice per day. The DWSNZ 2005, introduced as law whilst the mayor of Christchurch was a voting MP – is quite clear about this matter. It is only common sense. A lot of fractured water pipes ran near fractured sewer pipes. And what about the workers hands?

The DWSNZ 2008 (updated to include later 2015 FULL Compliance date) – IS LAW. Simple.

Chicane #9

Maybe the incorrect disinfectant is being used to control the biofilm – at elevated “swimming pools” (media reports) level. Do they know that there is better alternative? If not – why not? David Ogilvie – I did my best to deal with this matter in a pleasant manner – over a three year period. I have the correspondence on file.

For sale

Surplus to requirements household UV plant. Needs a new bulb. Cheap!

Chicane #10

What ‘drinking water ‘experts’ actually understand – would reduce the smallest circle to the size of a pin head.


Developing Countries following the World Health Organisation Drinking Water Disinfection practice, are well ahead of New Zealand. Drinking-Water-Wise – NZ is STILL in the mid 20th century – a ‘Developing-Country’. Thanks to David Ogilvie and his MoH mates and minions.)

  1. Developing countries dose chlorine dioxide as a pre-oxidant – just before the water enters storage. Where the Ct value will be high – and manganese, organic brackishness, legionella, cryptosporidium and many protozoa’s are dispatched. The full ‘kill’ list is huge.
  2. Developing countries dose chlorine (at quite low levels) as the water exits storage and enters the reticulation (previously cleaned of biofilm using chlorine dioxide).
  3. Properly used – chlorine  and FAC are absolutely marvellous – but chlorine dioxide gas is not effected by temperature, pH or much else. Combine both disinfectants  – results in.
  4. Serendipity.
  5. The booming ‘Air Freshener’ industry goes bust.

The lower the number – the stronger the disinfectant. Perfect for the above mentioned pre-oxidation – then into storage with high Ct Value = Broad spectrum biocide utopia untouched by chlorine. (Source US EPA)

Chlorine Dioxide – The strong Oxidisation Capacity kills more critters – and is easier on the environment. (Source US EPA)

I believe that NZ Drinking Water should be as safe to consume as NZ Food. Where is the historic equality of prosecution?

Why are food manufacturers charged with ‘homicide’? Why are numerous Drinking Water ‘homicides’ ignored?

A Kiwi Mussels customer was infected with listeria and her unborn twins were lost. Where are the Police and ‘Health Dept’ now? Drinking Water ‘homicides’ exist – including worse instances than the Kiwi Mussels ‘crime’ listed above.  Gary Phillips and John Turner set up their plant in the vacant (Rai Valley Cheese – yum) cheese factory. Despite conventional ‘washing’ and steam cleaning, the concrete walls remained infected with listeria biofilm. As they would. ‘One notable effort was the establishment in 1990 by the National Science Foundation of an Engineering Research Center under the direction of biofilm research pioneer William Charaklis dedicated to the study of biofilms at Montana State University in the United States.’ There have been similar drinking water induced ‘homicides’ close to my home. Very close to my home. Needless loss of life nationally – confirmed-as-fact within the Havelock North Drinking Water Final Report

Click here to go to my Drinkable Water page. Scroll down to ‘Anakiwa Experience’. Was it an accident? Was it vandalism? Was it someone taking All Practicable Steps? No – it was the MoH, and their unresponsive minions asleep at the wheel. With those responsible actually shielded by the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board – Public Health Service ‘Facilitator’ – Rica Salamat. (on file)

There are internet references to court appearances that suggest John Turner and Gary Phillips were still fighting the charges – two years later. Their only crime was that they did not wash the cheese factory walls with ZEROBAC®.  Their legal defence could have been very simple – because they did nothing wrong. NOTHING! In 1993 the 21st century ZEROBAC food-factory disinfectant had yet to be invented.  Plus – Biofilm resistance to conventional-concrete-wall-cleaning had yet to be fully understood. The timing of biofilm research is made very clear here.

ZEROBAC was developed about 2005 – because of food industry demand

The village of Rai Valley has never recovered.

Until three years ago Drinking Water suppliers ONLY had to prove “Take All Practicable Steps” – as a defence. Since the DWSNZ became fully operative three years ago, the full force of the law applies. No if’s. No but’s. Where are the Police? (Forget the MoH and their minions – being Monopoly players – their ineffective. non-communicative  drinking water staff should ‘Go Straight to Jail’.)

Call the tenders now. New Zealand needs another 1000 prison beds. Sirens. We need to hear the sirens.

Am I being ‘unfair’ to these poor ‘picked-on’, arrogant, acumen-devoid, hostile-when-cornered, non-communicative, inept, unschooled, 21st century untrained, (I have the supporting correspondence on file) MoH (Plus Minions) Drinking Water fools? No. Look at this lovely photo of my birthplace – Christchurch Hospital.

Here we see a MoH hospital – in which the Intensive Care patients drink bottled water. Because the reticulation is delivering infected unsafe water. Biofilm? Click here to see what the hospital pipes probably looked like. Read about this Oxymoronish (new word) disaster by clicking here!  Need I say more……….This would have to be an ultra-extreme case of the Dunning Kruger Effect. Click here for the full explanation!

Only Biofilm critters were intended to be harmed – or have their feelings hurt – during the creation of this page. This page is intended to wipe out the booming ‘Air Freshener’ industry. And seriously wipe out reduce toilet tissue sales by at least 50% 85%.

Did you know that the plaque on your teeth is ‘microbe-city’ – the very first Biofilm EVER discovered in 1684 by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek.

“If you do not study the biofilm – you are stuffed”  (Grahame Sisson)
The fact that recognition of the importance of the biofilm phenomenon is so recent continues to have ramifications on education, health, and industry. Biofilm topics are still rarely covered in key university curricula, such as microbiology, biology, environmental science, health, medicine, and dentistry. (Montana University)
Of particular interest to the Minister of Health – The true source of catheter infection. And some ‘Super-bug’ resistance – read the developing scientific discovery here – at Sisson Kayaks.
Final word on a 2017 medical biofilm breakthrough

How I discovered biofilm

  • I observed slime whilst repairing ABWSS Inc pipes
  • My mentor confirmed that this slime could re-infect disinfected water
  • I met with – and listened too – NZ’s leading authority on biofilm – Warwick Ivory
  • I hit the Google-Search function – hard
  • I discovered the Montana State University (MSU) – NZ needs to set up a new Government Ministry. The Ministry for Drinking Water (MfDW) The MfDW should urgently employ a chartered plane load of MSU graduates. With urgency. Warwick Ivory should be a paid WfDW consultant.

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