Chlorine is commonly added to drinking water by municipalities for disinfection. What should you do about it?
What is Chlorine
Chlorine is a chemical element that is commonly used by water industry as a common disinfectant. Water suppliers began chlorinating water early in the twentieth century to reduce the spread of water-borne pathogens such as cholera and typhoid fever.
Chlorine evaporates easily, that's why chlorinated water tastes like pool, or worse. Lately, utilities began experimenting with other chemicals that have less offencive smell - chlorine combined with another chemical, such as chloramines, which is a derivative of ammonia. Unfortunately, not only chloramines do not smell as offensively as free chlorine, they are also much harder to filter out. How to Remove Chlorine from Drinking Water?
Standard Carbon Filters such as Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) or Carbon Block, can eliminate chlorine from drinking water. Carbon Block filters can also eliminate chlorine byproducts, such as chemicals known as THMs. Most our systems use Carbon Block for best filtration capabilities.How to Remove Chlorine:
- With a carbon filter. All our countertop, under sink and shower filters eliminate chlorine from drinking water.
- Chlorine evaporates quickly, so if you don't have a filter handy, you can leave water in open container and it will loose most of its chlorine after a while.
We all know about chlorine in our tap water since it is deliberately added in the purification process, but are you familiar with its close relative of chloramine? Understanding both of these chemicals is a good place to start if you want to learn more about the water you drink every day.
What is Chloramine?
Chlorine is fairly commonly understood as a basic elemental compound, but fewer people are familiar with chloramine so a little extra explanation is necessary. The actual formula for chloramine is NH2Cl and its formed by combining regular chlorine with ammonia. Other chemical forms can exist such as NHCl2 or even NCl3 but they tend to convert readily back and forth so the term "chloramine" is used for all the different formulas.
Both of these chemicals are used in municipal water treatment facilities as a way of removing dangerous organic pathogens, bacteria and parasites from the water. Chlorine alone has long been the typical element for this and we are all familiar with that taste in unfiltered tap water. For various reasons (to be discussed in a moment) some plants are switching to chloramines instead. They are both important because of their potential health impact. Anything that gets added to your drinking water is something worth knowing about.
The switch to chloramine is being made for a few reasons. The main one is that chloramine is active in water for a longer period of time than chlorine which makes it a more effective disinfectant. It will do a better job of killing bacteria simply by lasting longer. Another significant improvement with the use of chloramine is that the taste of chlorine is greatly reduced and the overall water flavor is much better. Even with these positives, both chloramine and chlorine are compounds better filtered out of your drinking water if you can.
The EPA regulates chlorine content the water so it should always be below a level where it will start to have detrimental effects to your health. Even so, chlorine and chloramine are irritants and will cause inflammation of the eyes and nose, and there can also be negative effects on the nervous system if too much of these compounds is consumed.
How to Remove Chloramine?
Chloramine is a lot more difficult to remove from drinking water. We have specially designed chloramine removing carbons
to do this.