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A century ago, in 1908, chlorine chemistry’s germ-defeating properties were demonstrated in drinking water in two very different settings in the United States. First, chlorination transformed animal feed water, drawn from a highly polluted stream in Chicago’s Union Stockyards, into a product that exceeded the purity of city water. Days later, in Jersey City, chlorinated water was supplied for the first time on a permanent basis to a large U.S. municipality. The results included a dramatic decline in the local typhoid fever rate and a water supply that, according to a 1928 sanitary engineering report, “is not only of a high sanitary quality, but…it compares favorably with the best in the country.”

from the Water Quality and Health Council, an independent, multidisciplinary group sponsored by the Chlorine Chemistry Division of the American Chemistry Council, an industry trade association