The chlorine demand of a water is the difference between the amount of chlorine applied and the amount of free, combined, or total available chlorine remaining at the end of the contact period. The chlorine demand is different with different waters, and even with a given water will vary with the amount of chlorine applied, the desired residual, time of contact, pH, and temperature. The test should be conducted with chlorine or with hypochlorite, depending upon the form that will be used in practice.
Measurement of chlorine demand can be readily made by treating a series of samples of the water in question with known but varying dosages of chlorine or hypochlorite. The water samples should be at a temperature within the range of interest, and after the desired contact period, determination of residual chlorine in the samples will demonstrate which dosage satisfied the requirements of the chlorine demand, in terms of the desired residual.
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