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Safety for water and wastewater system operators

Safety Requirements for handling Chlorine gas

Chlorine Gas Facts – When chlorine gas mixes with water one of the products produced is concentrated hydrochloric acid, which means when chlorine gas gets in your eyes it’s like splashing concentrated hydrochloric acid in your eyes, and you could go blind. If you inhale chlorine gas into your lungs it will mix with the moisture in your lungs and also make hydrochloric acid, which would be like drinking hydrochloric acid. This makes chlorine gas a very deadly gas. OSHA requires whenever you work with chlorine gas you must have two people present one in the chlorine room and one outside observing. This is the OSHA mandatory two-man policy.

Chlorine gas characteristics:

  1. It is toxic and very corrosive
  2. It is 2.5 times heavier than air. (It will collect in low places and will not float away without forced air ventilation)
  3. It has a greenish-yellow color and a very distinctive and pungent odor
  4. It has a very high coefficient, which means it has a tendency to expand even further if the temperature increases. It must be stored in storage facilities out of direct sunlight.

DEQ Chlorine gas facility construction requirements

  1. Chlorine gas must be stored in a facility by itself
  2. There must be a window in the door to the facility
  3. There must be a chlorine gas leak alarm system installed in the facility that will notify a 24-hour manned operation of a leak, fire station, police or main treatment facility.
  4. The facility must have an operational ventilation system that does one complete air change a minute.


All personnel who work with chlorine gas must be properly trained before working with it. If personnel are going to respond to chlorine gas leaks, OSHA requires they complete a 40-hour HAZWOPER class first and then have proper training on leak repair. Everyone who changes out chlorine gas bottles must be fit tested for a respirator and be trained on wearing a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA).

Don’t take chances with your life wear all the proper personal protective equipment including an SCBA whenever you are changing out a chlorine gas bottle. Owners are required by law to supply operators with all of the required safety equipment they need to work safely.

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Meet Instructor Robert Krueger

Robert Krueger

Instructor for Rose State College, Water Treatment Plant Operator & Lab Tech

What training do you teach?
I teach all level of training Water & Wastewater Operator and Lab.

Why would someone be interested in training at OETC?
OETC has a solid support group within its organization. This enables anyone taking the training here to be assured that all forms needed and paperwork necessary will be handled in the most professional way, making sure each person is verified to take the test, all college credits available being issued to each person, and all DEQ training hours being sent in to DEQ.

What can someone expect while taking the training?
Clean and completely set up classrooms, with all study material required for the class from
knowledge information, as well as math and lab skills [the students will need]. Several practice tests [are given] to assure comprehension of material.

What are the benefits of this training?
Each class has been streamlined to give as much information and training on the subject matter of each class. A format that is designed to maximize the ability to remember as much information possible, helps produce positive test results. Math taught in a step-by-step format rather than the overcomplicated algebraic method [is also a benefit] because the most important thing for all of us is not only being able to pass the test level we are training for, but to be able to use that information easily in the field.