Chlorine in Water


Chlorine in Your Drinking Water
Source

Today, about 98% of U.S. water treatment systems use some type of chlorine disinfection process for drinking water.

Chlorine was first used to treat water for bacteria in the United States in 1908, and by 1995 about 64% of all community water systems used chlorination as a disinfectant. It became common because of its low cost process and easy large-scale regulation. Chlorination is the process of adding chlorine to the water in order to kill germs and fight against waterborne diseases and E. coli. Its use has almost completely eliminated the presence of cholera and typhoid in North America and Europe. There are different processes of chlorination, but in order for treated water to be considered safe to drink, chlorine levels must be at or below 4 milligrams per liter.

Symptoms

While chlorine has excellent disinfecting powers, its reaction creates carcinogenic Disinfection By-products (DBPs).

Even if chlorine levels are safe, the chlorine can bond with organic matter and can form byproducts called Trihalomethane (THM) compounds, or chloroform compounds, both probable carcinogens. Less serious effects can be itchy, irritated skin and scalp, dried out hair, and altered smell or taste of your tap water. Food you wash or beverages you make with your tap water may taste unpleasant. Ridding your water of harmful bacteria and pathogens is important for you and your family, but should not come at the risk of consuming possible carcinogens. Chlorine can also lower the pH in the water making it more corrosive and aggressive to steel and copper piping.

Solutions

Chlorine may be effective at the municipal plant for disinfecting water, but it should be removed at the water's point of entry.

If you are concerned about the presence of the chlorine in your water, there are several options for reducing its harmful effects. Activated Carbon Water Filters and Reverse Osmosis Filtration Systems will reduce chlorine in tap water. We offer filters for the shower or bath, which will reduce exposure and protect from harmful side effects that can occur from breathing in the water vapors. We also offer Whole House Filtration Systems, which filter your water at the point of entry so you get purified water to all your taps. If you're not sure wether you'll need a whole-house system, or just a shower filter, use a test kit to detect how much chlorine is present in your water.

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