Purafil Protects Staff and Surrounding Community During a Toxic Chemical Leak

In the wake of the release of toxic chemicals from the derailed train in East Palestine, Ohio, many municipalities are considering how they can mitigate the risks of a toxic chemical release. Water-treatment plants that use chlorine gas to purify drinking water need to have an immediate response to protect their onsite employees and surrounding residential or commercial neighborhoods. The Purafil EGS is the always-ready risk mitigation solution that was recently put to the test in Mississippi.


On Monday, September 19, 2022, on-site safety personnel were notified of an alarm that went off at O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant indicating a chlorine gas leak. All personnel were evacuated and multiple agencies responded to the event. “First responders, along with O.B. Curtis’s maintenance staff, identified three leaking valves and secured the area.”


In 2006, the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant installed a FOC-1, Fiberglass Emergency Gas Scrubber (EGS) with Chlorosorb® dry-scrubbing media adjacent to the chemical building. Purafil’s EGS is designed to contain the entire contents of a fully loaded 1-ton chlorine cylinder in a worst-case release scenario, which exceeds the requirements of the Uniform Fire Code. “The building has air scrubbers to keep chlorine from escaping the building. The devices worked as designed”, the release states.

The Result:

Instead of using toxic, liquid caustic to neutralize gases, the EGS uses non-toxic, dry-scrubbing media. This Chlorosorb’s chemisorptive process removes chlorine by means of adsorption, absorption and chemical reaction. Chlorine gas is trapped within the pellets where an irreversible chemical reaction changes the chlorine gas into a harmless solid. The personnel on site performed annual media life testing, provided free of charge by Purafil, on the filtration media. After 16 years, the original Chlorosorb media was fully functional and ready when needed. During the chlorine leak at O.B. Curtis, Purafil’s EGS immediately began to remove the chlorine gas, minimizing the risk to employees and the community. “No injuries were reported… No other evacuations of the surrounding area were needed.” During a full cylinder release, chlorine gas can reach concentrations that are dangerous to human life in up to a five-mile radius.

Click here to learn more about Purafil’s Emergency Gas Scrubbers

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