If the Water in Your Home is Treated with Chlorine, You Need a Dechlorinator
Chlorine has been used to disinfect water for consumption to eliminate waterborne disease for decades. It is extremely effective at killing pathogens and diseases. It is widely used because it’s inexpensive and easy to control and monitor. Chlorine easily maintains a residual level in the water distribution that continues protecting drinking water supplies from bacteria growth. This is why chlorine is considered one of the best disinfecting agents. Despite its effectiveness and inexpensive ability to disinfect the water supply, chlorination has some problems of its own. In this article, we will outline how we come in contact with chlorine, its dangers, and what you should do to mitigate the amount of chlorine in your water.
Our Contact with Chlorine
Water comes from a variety of sources, such as lakes and wells, which can be contaminated with germs that may make people sick. Germs can also contaminate water as it travels through miles of piping to get to a community. To prevent contamination with germs, water companies add a disinfectant—usually either chlorine or chloramine—that kills disease-causing germs such as salmonella, campylobacter, and norovirus. Private well users may or may not be using chlorine to disinfect the water as they do have some choice in the type of disinfection. City water users do not have control of the disinfection methods and chlorine and chloramines are most commonly used. Most communities use either chlorine or chloramines. Some communities switch back and forth between chlorine and chloramines at different times of the year or for other operational reasons. Less commonly, utilities use other disinfectants, such as chlorine dioxide. Chloramines are disinfectants used to treat drinking water. Chloramines are most commonly formed when ammonia is added to chlorine to treat drinking water. Chloramines provide longer-lasting disinfection as the water moves through pipes to consumers. This type of disinfection is known as secondary disinfection.
Furthermore—if you have city water—chlorine is in our drinking water, but it is also in the water that comes out of every faucet in our homes. When we take a steamy shower, chlorine is vaporized into its natural gaseous form. While showering, chlorine is not only absorbed through the skin but also vaporized in the shower and inhaled into the lungs. This means the majority of our daily chlorine exposure comes from showering. Chlorine poses a problem throughout all of our water faucets and should be removed from the entire water source.
Our Concerns about Chlorine
Chlorine was first used in the United States as a major disinfectant in 1908 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Chlorine use became more and more common in the following decades, and by 1995 about 64% of all community water systems in the United States used chlorine to disinfect their water. When chlorine is used as a water treatment, it combines with organic matter in the water to form byproduct compounds called Trihalomethanes (THMs). These compounds are toxic when consumed, inhaled, or applied to the skin. Research conducted on the health effects of chlorinated drinking water has demonstrated a variety of toxicity issues. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that there is evidence to support a potential association between long-term exposure to high levels of THMs and bladder cancer as well as suggestions of an association with colon and rectal cancers. In addition, the Environmental Research Foundation cites several studies linking moderate to heavy consumption of chlorinated tap water by pregnant women with higher miscarriage and birth defect rates. Water disinfection is extremely important to rid of the bacteria and viruses in the water but there are other disinfection methods that do not produce these toxic byproducts.
Also, a recent study shows that tap water treated with chlorine produces toxic carcinogens. This includes two forms of the toxic compound and known carcinogen BDA, which haven’t been discovered in drinking water until this study.
Our Choices to Remove Chlorine
When you let chlorinated water sit for 30 minutes to an hour, it will disperse from the standing water. Yet, it will instead leave behind the poisonous byproducts and VOCs. When you shower, chlorine and chloramine both discharge into the air. Once you breathe in it, it can irritate the lungs, throat, and eyes. Individuals who experience the ill effects of asthma, upper respiratory issues, and cystic fibrosis can’t bear to breathe in these chemicals. Chloramine does not disperse from the water as chlorine does. Chloramines are much slower to react. Unlike chlorine, they don’t evaporate from the water. They are also not removed by ordinary water treatment methods. This is why getting a dechlorinator can make a difference, particularly to remove chloramines from your drinking and showering water.
Since 86% of U.S. households receive water from a public water supplier—chances are, you have chlorine and chloramines in your tap water. Chlorine and chloramine are disinfectants used to treat water-borne microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. Because most municipalities treat their raw water with chlorine and chloramines before sending it to their customers, almost everyone on city water needs equipment to remove chlorine and chloramines. Because chloramines do not disperse from the water as chlorine does, our dechlorinator uses catalytic carbon to remove both chlorine and chloramines. The raw water comes in from the municipal source and the chlorine and chloramines are removed by the catalytic carbon filter. This dechlorinated water then goes to your water softener for ion exchange. This way, the softener resin does not have to deal with chlorinated water, because chlorine decreases the life of softener beads. The catalytic carbon media will last 5-7 years depending on incoming water characteristics and the tank carries a 10-yr limited warranty.
Reverse Osmosis is a filtration system designed to remove dissolved solids, organic and inorganic forms, that a water softener cannot. The activated carbon prefilter reduces chlorine, which may damage the RO membrane filter. It also reduces elements that cause water to taste and smell unpleasant, including chlorine taste and odor.RO removes metals like arsenic, aluminum, copper, lead, chromium, and many others. It also removes inorganic forms such as nitrates, phosphates, chlorides, sulfates, and more. RO works by forcing water from your home’s supply through the RO membrane. This membrane contains thousands of tiny holes, just large enough to allow water molecules to pass through. Anything bigger than a water molecule is trapped and cannot fit through the membrane. c and j water offers a premium 4-stage Reverse Osmosis System that is a great solution for water used for drinking and cooking.
In summary, chlorine and chloramine at regulated levels don’t always cause harm to human beings. However, it is best to be safe to protect your family since these chemicals cause harm to your health. Moreover, it can lead to issues on repairs inside the home as well as in the environment. The water experts at c and j water are here to help customers get quality, affordable water. We can do a free water analysis and recommend the best water treatment solution for your home and family. View details on our water products and services below and understand that you’re not alone! Your water problems can be solved and we even offer financing options on treatment equipment. You can count on c and j water to find a complete water solution for your household—contact us today!