Chlorine is an efficient disinfectant, but it is also the No. 1 contaminant in drinking water. Chlorine is added to public water supplies to kill disease-causing bacteria that the water or distribution pipes might contain. Because of this, billions of people drink chlorine contaminated tap water every day. When chlorine was first introduced to the water supply, it brought a rapid decline in the spread of disease and other water-borne illnesses. Now, however, we worry about the adverse effects chlorine can have on our health.
At Haferman Water Conditioning, we want to make sure that you know the pros and cons of putting chlorine in the public water systems.
The addition of chlorine in drinking water began in the 1800s and turned into the standard water treatment in 1904. Before the addition of chlorine, people battled a variety of ailments that were spread through water, including diseases such as typhoid, dysentery, and cholera. After scientists found that adding chlorine in small amounts to drinking water could kill bacteria and stop the spread of disease, it quickly became popular. Now chlorination is the most common water treatment method worldwide, especially in the U.S.
Due to its high toxicity, chlorine can effectively kill disease-causing bacteria in public drinking water. Chlorine is an ideal sanitizer and prevents much waterborne illness and disease every day.
While chlorine does an excellent job of destroying most toxins in the water supply, it also introduces other types of toxins, such as trihalomethanes (THMs). THMs from when chlorine is introduced into the water supply and reacts with other naturally occurring elements. If THMs make their way into our bodies, they can cause asthma, bladder cancer, and heart disease. Other issues associated with chlorine in your drinking water are:
– Bad smell and taste
– Dries skin and hair
– Fades clothes
– Dries out rubber seals in appliances, shortening their lives
Chloramination is the process of adding chloramines to drinking water to disinfect it. This kills or inactivates bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful organisms in the water. Chloramine is an inorganic compound created with a combination of ammonia and chlorine. Chloramination is sometimes used as an alternative to chlorination for disinfecting public water systems because chloramine retains its effectiveness longer.
What can you do?
While chlorine might be essential at the treatment plant and in the water distribution system, it is no longer necessary once the water reaches your home. There are many systems that can reduce the chlorine in your water, but before choosing one you need to have a water test. A water test will tell you the amount of chlorine in your water to find the best system for treatment. Both a whole house carbon filtration system or a reverse osmosis purification system can remove chlorine and chloramines.
Whole House Carbon Filtration
Whole house filtration systems use activated carbon to remove chlorine, organic compounds, chemicals, lead, and other contaminants in a process known as adsorptions.
Reverse Osmosis System
Reverse osmosis systems have carbon filters to remove chlorine and chloramines. Reverse osmosis systems are one of the most popular water filtration systems because not only are they capable of removing chlorine and chloramines but also many other contaminants in your water.
A dechlorinator can attach to a water softener and will remove chlorine with activated carbon. A Kinetico Dechlorinator can be customized to reduce chloramines and many other chemical contaminants.
At Haferman Water Conditioning, we have a full line of Kinetico water filtration systems that will eliminate the chlorine from your water. If you’re not sure what filter or system is right for you, contact us today for free water analysis and we will be able to select the best treatment system for your home and budget.