Sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl)
is a chemical compound that is commonly used in water treatment as a disinfectant. It is a clear, slightly yellowish solution that has a strong chlorine odor. It is added to water to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can cause illness. The process is called chlorination. Sodium hypochlorite is effective in killing a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and protozoan parasites, such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia. It also helps to control the growth of algae and other aquatic plants. However, it's important to use the correct dosage of sodium hypochlorite to avoid over-chlorination, which can lead to the formation of harmful chlorine byproducts.