In all fresh water circuits, the slime forming bacteria develop an insulating layer on the condenser surfaces. If these bacteria are not controlled, they induce bacterial promoted corrosion of the materials in contact with cooling water. Chlorination is effective against slime forming bacteria, fungi and algae. The algistatic nature of the chlorine is partly compensated by the use of other non-oxidisable biocides. Amongst the various alternative biocides such as bromine, methyl bis-isocyanate, sodium pentachlorophenate etc, bromine is the most simple biocide, which is being increasingly used in cooling water systems. In this context, the chemistry of bromination and its bactericidal properties is examined along with those of chlorination. (author). 7 refs., 3 tabs., 2 figs.