Chlorine isn’t just present in swimming pools. Many people may not know that municipal water treatment facilities often use chlorine as a means of cleaning out pathogens from local and community water supplies. Although it works as an effective disinfectant for shared wading and drinking water supplies, chlorine has an unpleasant pungent odour.
Plus, overexposure or overconsumption of chlorine can also have adverse physical and health effects.
If you’re worried about the impact chlorine consumption and exposure may be having on your health or your family’s health, keep reading for some great tips on how to remove chlorine in drinking water.
What Are the Dangers of Chlorine in Drinking Water?
As mentioned, chlorine is used as a disinfectant in water treatment facilities as well as private and public swimming pools. This can be both a good and bad thing.
Chlorine will certainly eliminate bad bacteria in your drinking and swimming pool water, but when consumed, it will also kill the good bacteria in your gut because it can’t differentiate between the two. As a result, prolonged overexposure to chlorine can have serious negative health repercussions such as the following:
- Increased risk of developing cancer. High chlorine content in community drinking water has been linked to more instances of bladder cancer, breast cancer, and rectal cancer. In some cases, it’s also been known to cause miscarriages while also having an adverse impact on the nervous system. For this reason, the EPA has set limits on how much chlorine can be used to cleanse and purify drinking water at municipal water treatment facilities.
- Food allergies. Recent studies have indicated that excessive amounts of chlorine in local drinking water supplies could cause certain food allergies or intolerances as a result of adverse chemical interactions. But more research needs to be done on this.
- Birth defects. Certain birth defects like cleft palates as well as heart and brain dysfunction could be linked to drinking chlorinated water during pregnancy.
- Increased risk of colonic tumour growth. Chlorine kills good and bad bacteria in your gut, which means it eliminates your body’s natural abilities to fight off disease and this increases the risk of tumour growth in your colon.
How to Remove Chlorine from Water
Trace amounts of chlorine in your drinking water are perfectly safe and even necessary to remove harmful bacteria and pathogens that could otherwise make their way into your system. These pathogens are present in various water sources, but they can also exist in your home’s pipeline infrastructure, so it’s important to have at least some chlorine in your drinking water.
So, what’s a safe amount of chlorine to ingest? Studies show that you can drink a maximum of 4 milligrams of chlorine before it starts negatively impacting your health.
With all of that said, there are several effective methods for chlorine removal from water if you have significant concerns.
Install a State-of-the-Art Water Filtration System
You can install a charcoal water filter to remove chlorine from water running through your home’s pipelines. If a new water filtration system isn’t in your budget, then you can also purchase water filter pitchers that can be stored in your refrigerator.
Showerhead filters are also a great option to prevent overexposure to chlorine absorption through the skin. Whole house water filters are arguably the best way to remove chlorine from your water, but understandably, that’s not always an option for all homeowners. Be sure to consult a water filtration specialist for recommendations on the best water filter to remove chlorine for your specific needs.
Reverse Osmosis System
Reverse osmosis is an effective means of removing pathogens, harmful bacteria, and contaminants from your household’s water supply. Large molecules, solid substances, and minerals are pushed through specialized entrapment membranes using pressurized water systems. These membranes consist of filters that effectively catch the contaminants and remove them from your water system.
To ensure the efficacy of this system, filters need to be changed out on a regular basis. Dirty or contaminated filters that are left in for too long can actually serve as a breeding ground for more bacteria development.
Ultra-violet light is another common method for chlorine removal from water; however, the efficacy of this method has been called into question by many scientists and water filtration experts.
That’s because it doesn’t necessarily remove chlorine or chloramine from water. What it actually does is breaks down large chlorine particles into smaller undetectable particles, which makes it easier to pass through water filtration systems. Ultimately, ultra-violet light simply removes the unpleasant odour and colour of chlorine during the purification process without actually eliminating its presence in your water.
Activated Carbon Water Filtration System
Conventional water filters use charcoal to remove impurities and elements like chlorine. However, chloramine is often left behind. To effectively remove chloramine from your water, the water has to stay in the system for a longer period of time.
Activated carbon filters for your entire house offer a great solution to this problem—particularly those containing NSF logos as they can accommodate chloramine levels 3 and 0.5ppm.
Removing Chlorine from Water by Boiling
When you boil water for cooking or other purposes, the chlorine naturally releases into the atmosphere as a vapour. The heat from the boiling method separates the chloramine particles from the water. This method may take the longest, especially for large quantities of water, but it’s also the easiest and most cost-effective.
Contact Georgian Water & Air for Chlorine Removal and Water Filtration
Georgian Water and Air is a locally owned water and air filtration company that provides high-quality equipment and service to our community. Located in Barrie, we serve a number of different communities by providing water and air purification solutions for your home, cottage, or business. Free installation and standard 25-year product warranty are included. Contact us to learn more!