When you think of chlorination in city water, your mind may automatically think of municipal swimming pools. You might not realize that the household water you use to drink, cook, clean, and bathe is chlorinated too.
If you receive water from your city's water supply, the water feeding into your home has likely undergone a large-scale chlorination process.
However, before you become alarmed, note that although there is chlorine in tap water, there’s far less chlorine in the water coming out of your faucet than you would find in a swimming pool.
Chlorination in city water is vital for different reasons. For example, adding chlorine to our water supplies ensures we have clean drinking water so we don’t come down with waterborne diseases.
If you're interested in understanding water chlorination, this article will answer your questions. We'll explain why it's necessary, its effect on water quality, chlorination methods, and the health risks that may be involved.
So what exactly does it mean to have chlorination in city water? Water chlorination is a specific process involving adding chlorine to drinking water to kill bacteria, parasites, and viruses such as Campylobacter, norovirus, Salmonella, and some waterborne diseases. Adding chlorine to water prevents outbreaks of these viruses and ensures the population doesn't become ill from their drinking water.
According to data in the U.S., chloramine and chlorine are among the effective disinfectants most often used in public water systems. Chlorination in city water is common practice and different chlorine methods are used in various U.S. cities.
It's commonly believed that drinking water with small doses of chlorine doesn't cause adverse health effects. However, some studies surrounding the use of chlorine in drinking water have shown the chlorination process may not be as harmless as previously believed.
If you're curious about whether or not you have a disinfectant in your water and what type it is, you can consult a copy of your utility's Consumer Confidence Report.
Chlorine is added to city water to eliminate pathogens and microorganisms to create safe drinking water — essentially, it’s a public health service. Public water supplies originate from different sources. Some of these water sources are more contaminated than others.
The contaminants found naturally in groundwater travel through pipes and into households. When the water isn’t treated at a water treatment plant with chlorine, chloramine, and other chemicals, people can become ill from waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera.
However, if levels of chlorine exceed safe amounts in drinking water sources, you could also become sick.
What Are the Warning Signs of High Chlorine Levels in Tap Water?
Despite the fact that chlorine is an effective disinfectant, you may want to ensure there are no adverse health effects of too much chlorine in your water.
There are a few warning signs you can look out for:
If you suspect that you have elevated chlorine levels in your water, you may want to speak with an expert who can assist you with finding a solution. This expert should also assist you with contacting your water treatment facility.
In recent years, it's been shown that ingesting chlorine with your tap water can have many adverse health effects. Often many of the health effects will occur because chlorine tends to form trihalomethanes (THMs).
In most instances, THMs will form when chlorine comes into contact with and reacts to tiny organic particles or materials present in water.
Though most commonly associated with excess chlorine consumption due to accidental ingestion, the following are some of the more harmful effects of chlorine water, sometimes referred to as chlorine poisoning:
Since chlorination in city water is common practice throughout the U.S., you may feel like you want to check the amount of chlorine in your home’s tap water. Whether you prefer to check your household tap water or have your water tested by a professional, a few options are available.
If you choose to have your home water tested by a professional, they’ll collect water samples in your home and forward them to a lab. Once the lab has examined your water, they’ll give you a report that you can use to determine what you need to do to reduce the amount of chlorine in your water.
If you don't want to send your sample to a lab, you can do a DIY at-home water testing project. There are numerous water tests on the market that you can use to determine what’s in your drinking water and if it’s safe. A test solution kit usually includes chemicals you add to a water sample. Then, when compared to a color chart, you'll be able to tell what’s in your water supply.
DPD chlorine testing tablets are also available. These tablets change the water's color, allowing you to compare it to a color chart to determine the compounds present.
Finally, you could use a chlorine test strip. Typically in fewer than five minutes you'll know if you have high or low chlorine levels in your drinking water.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), drinking water with chlorine is considered safe if the chlorine levels are no more than 4 milligrams per liter or four parts per million (ppm).
If the levels are within this range, it's unlikely that harmful effects will occur in humans, domestic animals, and plants. However, you should note that chlorinated water is toxic to aquatic life, fish, reptiles, and amphibians.
Treated water often contains small numbers of contaminants. However, it’s believed that as long as these contaminants remain below the EPA allowable limits, including the limitations they have in place for disinfectants and disinfection byproducts (DBPs), your drinking water is considered safe.
There are different types of chlorine disinfection for drinking water supplies. The following are a few methods for drinking water disinfection using chlorine.
Many people complain about the taste and smell of chlorinated water. However, there are a few ways to make chlorinated water more palatable, less of a health hazard, and easier to drink and smell.
Adding chlorine to municipal and city water supplies at treatment plants is necessary because it makes our tap water safe to drink and use for other purposes. In addition, chlorine is one of the best chemicals to disinfect water and ensure no viruses or bacteria survive to make us ill.
However, it's also evident that chlorinated water has a few adverse health effects when present in excess.
That's why it may be best to install a home filtration system from HomeWater. We know how crucial it is to have safe water, which is why our filtration system will ensure you're able to use clean water that doesn't contain as much chlorine.
If you want to install a home filtration system, contact us today and we will answer any questions you may have about filtering your home's water.
Brought to you by homewater.com
All images licensed from Adobe Stock.