Chlorination, ozonation, and ultraviolet disinfection are the most common methods of disinfection in Canada. Chlorine, the most widely used disinfectant in municipal wastewater, destroys organisms by oxidizing cellular material. Chlorine can be applied as chlorine gas, hypochlorite solutions, and other chlorine compounds in solid or liquid form.
Ozone, an unstable gas generated by an electrical discharge through dry air or pure oxygen, is another oxidizing agent. Ultraviolet radiation, generated by an electrical discharge through mercury vapor, is absorbed into the genetic material of microorganisms and hinders their ability to reproduce.