City water treatment facilities use chlorine to kill germs in the water. But you probably know from being around chlorinated swimming pools that too much of this chemical can lead to irritation and off-odors. Should you feel concerned about chlorine in drinking water?
Why Do Cities Put Chlorine in Drinking Water?
Chlorine and a related chemical, chlorine dioxide, are chemicals that kill bacteria, parasites, and viruses in water. In fact, 98% of water treatment facilities use chlorine to kill organisms in the water. Without this chemical, people would still have to deal with water-borne illnesses such as typhoid fever.
Another issue with chlorine in drinking water is that it combines with ammonia during secondary disinfection to produce chloramines. These chemicals can also impact your drinking water’s health and flavor.
Unfortunately, chlorine can have negative side effects when added to water, too. For instance, extra chlorine added to water systems when the city detects bacteria can lead to off aromas in the water from your tap. Additionally, fish and other lifeforms in aquariums could die in chlorinated water-filled tanks.
How Much Is Too Much Chlorine in Drinking Water?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) places limits on the total amount of chlorine and chlorine dioxide allowed in drinking water. For the former, the level is 4 mg per liter, and the latter cannot surpass 0.8 mg per liter.
If you have more than these amounts, you can feel sick. For instance, too much chlorine in your drinking water may upset your stomach or cause irritation in your eyes and nose. If you have too much chlorine dioxide, babies and infants could experience damage to their nervous systems. Anyone could have anemia from too much chlorine dioxide in the water.
So, what can you do to ensure that you have safe drinking water free of pathogens without the dangers of chlorine?
Do You Want Better-Tasting, Healthier Water?
Getting rid of chlorine in water can happen in several ways. One of the easiest is to let the water sit out overnight. The chlorine will evaporate, but the chloramines in the water may not. This method does not make drinking water safe for aquariums. Nor does it guarantee better flavor.
A better option for better-tasting, healthier water is to use filtration to remove chlorine in drinking water. Activated charcoal filters can remove simple chlorine from the water. However, if you want to also get rid of chloramines as well as chlorine in drinking water, consider a reverse osmosis water treatment system or a filter designed to reduce chloramines.
If you want to reduce chlorine in drinking water through filtration, contact us at Best Home Water Treatment Systems at our office 951.737.1500. We can help you to get the product to best suit your home’s water use and filtration needs.