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Nitrification

Nitrification is a microbial process by which reduced nitrogen compounds (primarily ammonia) are sequentially oxidized to nitrite and nitrate.  The root cause is usually the combination of available free ammonia as a substrate to nitrifying bacteria and long detention times in the distribution system.  Nitrification mitigation techniques like manual flushing, break-point chlorination or switching to free chlorine are all strategies that have been used successfully, but they can result in DBP compliance problems.  To maintain compliance with DBP rules, chlorine dioxide, in extremely low dosages, has been shown to be very effective in controlling episodes of nitrification.