The first thing that comes to mind when people hear about chlorinated water is a public swimming pool or something similar. However, this chemical is also widely added to our drinking water. You may not even realize it, but you come into contact with chlorine every time you drink, bathe or clean your house. Here’s everything you need to know about chlorine in tap water.
Why is Chlorine Added to Drinking Water?
- The microbial cell is targeted by chlorine disrupting the cell membrane.
- Vital cellular components are released from the cell.
- The membrane processes are terminated.
- The cell stops functioning, so it can no longer grow or cause disease.
- manage biological growth
- remove iron and manganese
- stop an algal bloom
- control taste and odors
- remove color in drinking water
How Long has U.S. Drinking Water been Chlorinated?
- 1908 – Jersey City, NJ. Similar to many American cities, at that time, Jersey City had a typhoid fever outbreak, with 21.4 reported cases per 100,000 people. Dr. John L. Leal had a novel, inexpensive solution: to use full-scale water chlorination, using sodium hypochlorite.
- 1908 – Chicago, IL. Chicago’s union stockyards had been using filtered drinking water from the Bubbly Creek. But the animals failed to thrive unless they were given Chicago municipal water. George A. Johnson tried using the chloride of lime germicide, and it became cleaner than the Chicago water supply.
- 1910 – Youngstown, Ohio. C. R. Darnall’s invention, the mechanical liquid chlorine purifier for water systems, was the prototype for the current water chlorination technology.
- 1914 – The Treasury Department drafted the first standards for drinking water. The bacteriological standard required the use of chlorine in drinking water to fulfill the rules. Water had to be free from harmful effects and an offensive look, taste, or smell.
- 1920s-1930s – Drinking water filtration and chlorination had virtually eliminated epidemics of waterborne diseases in the U.S.
|Disinfectant||Large Systems||Small Systems Using Groundwater||Small Systems Using Surface Water |
Is Chlorine Water Safe to Drink?
- nasal passages
- respiratory system
What Can You Do to Lower the Amount of Chlorine in Drinking Water?
- Evaporation – you can get rid of some levels of chlorine by letting it sit at room temperature, which will allow the gas molecules to escape. If you want to speed up the process, you can expand the surface area, since it will increase air exposure of chlorine molecules. However, this method does not work with chloramines or any other disinfectant.
- Chemical Neutralization – if you are wondering how to remove chlorine in drinking water through chemical reactions, you should know that not all methods are worth your time. For example, sulfur dioxide is effective but toxic and difficult to work with. Other options like vitamin C, ascorbic acid, sodium thiosulfate, or sodium sulfite are safer choices. However, none of them remove all of the contaminants in the water.
- Filtration – lastly, you can use a water filter to remove chlorine. This is by far the best and most effective way to achieve dechlorination. You can choose between point-of-use (POU) and point-of-entry (POE) options depending on your needs. POU filters connect to one outlet and provide clean water only from that outlet in the house. POE filters supply clean water to the whole house. Bear in mind that the size of the filter must be appropriate for the amount of water to be treated.
- Distillation – while it is technically not a filter, it is still a very effective way to remove just about anything from water, fluoride and other contaminants included. The water vapor will perfectly clean the water, unfortunately, most of the time, it is not feasible to perform this activity at home.
- Strong base anion (SBA) exchange resins can remove both strong and weak acids. However, they are suitable for industrial use only and cannot be easily found.
- Activated alumina media – these filters are installed to reduce fluoride, arsenic, and selenium in drinking water without adding any harmful chemicals or substances. This option is better suited for rentals, meaning if you can’t make permanent changes to the water system in the home.
- Reverse osmosis is the common option in the chlorine water filter market due to its effectiveness. RO membranes can retain 99% of all contaminants, including chlorine, chloramines nitrates, sulfates, fluoride, bacteria, pharmaceuticals, and much more. The system successfully improves the taste, odor, and color of drinking water, and is essentially better than bottled water.