For decades, chlorine has been used in the disinfection of water to prevent waterborne diseases. It is highly effective in killing pathogens. It’s widely used because its inexpensive, easy to monitor and control. The chlorine in water can be easily maintained at a level that protects drinking water from bacterial growth. It is for this reason that chlorine is regarded as one of the most effective disinfectants. Chlorination is an effective and cheap way to disinfect water, but it has its own problems.
Private well users can choose whether or not they want to use chlorine for disinfection. Most commonly, city water users are not able to control the method of disinfection.
Chlorine produces harmful byproducts
Trihalomethanes are formed when chlorine is used to treat water. These compounds can be toxic if consumed, inhaled or applied directly to the skin. The health effects of drinking chlorinated water have been studied extensively. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has concluded there is evidence that supports a possible association between high levels of THMs in drinking water and bladder cancer. There are also suggestions of an association to colon and rectal carcinomas.
The Environmental Research Foundation also cites studies that link moderate to heavy consumption by pregnant women of chlorinated water with a higher rate of miscarriage or birth defects. It is important to disinfect water in order to eliminate bacteria and viruses. However, there are alternative disinfection methods which do not create these toxic byproducts.
We are exposed to chlorine
Chlorine in water leaves a bad taste and odor behind. Chlorine can change the taste of coffee, tea, and water. Chlorine can be inhaled during showers and is also ingested through drinking water. Even after showering, it can make the hair and skin dry. Not only is drinking water a problem, but bathing water as well. Even though we drink the chlorinated byproducts, showering or bathing in it can expose us to more chlorine.
Showering exposes you to chlorine not only through your skin, but also via vaporization in the shower. This is then inhaled by the lungs. Showering is the main source of chlorine in our daily exposure. Chlorine is a problem in all water faucets, and it should be removed.
How do I remove the chlorine from my drinking water?
The carbon filter adsorbs the chlorine from your water without causing any harm to it. When your water contacts the carbon filter, adsorption occurs. Carbon filters out chlorine, organic compounds, and taste. Two main systems remove chlorine. First, there is the heavy-duty carbon filter system. This system uses large quantities of filter media in order to achieve the best carbon filtration. The media is stored in a 50″ high tank and will provide chlorine-free water for up to 5-8 years.
The second system type is a contact water cartridge with a standard capacity. These housings are designed to use carbon filters for adsorption of chlorine. They are recommended for water with a standard capacity.
These systems are usually 4.5″D x 10″ or even 20″H, and they are installed by the main waterline. The standard capacity systems may be more affordable but require more maintenance as the filters should be changed annually. If you want the best performance in chlorine removal, look at heavy duty carbon filter systems. For standard carbon filters, look at the whole-house filter housings.
Reverse Osmosis offers complete protection
Reverse Osmosis water systems are recommended in the kitchen to provide safe drinking water. Reverse osmosis, a five-stage filter that removes up to 99% contaminants from water, is recommended. Three of the filters are carbon filters that will protect you even better from chlorine. The other two filters remove heavy metals pesticides or other contaminants the whole house filter could not remove. Both the reverse osmosis and whole house filters will provide you with bottled-quality drinking water as well as chlorine-free showers and baths.