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0 How to Remove Chlorine from Tap Water

  • Health
  • by Louise Allen
  • 15-07-2022

What is Chlorine?

Chlorine is a common disinfectant. It's used by the UK water industry to maintain hygienic conditions and the high quality of water in the pipe network of the national water supply.

Chlorine kills any harmful bacteria present and keeps water safe on it's way to your tap.

It's been used for about 100 years to ensure that you have safe and hygienic drinking water for you and your family.

Chlorine is cheap and effective. If they didn't add chlorine to mains water you would be drinking water that is unsafe.

If you're on mains water in the UK there will be chlorine in your water.

Is Chlorine safe?

The very low levels of chlorine used in drinking water in the UK are perfectly safe. Higher concentrations of chlorine are routinely used safely for other purposes such as baby bottle sterilisers and in spas, hydrotherapy pools and swimming pools. You'll definitely notice the smell when you walk into the swimming pool and on your skin afterwards.

Some people have a sensitivity to the taste and smell of chlorine, but there are ways you can remove it from your tap water.

The level of chlorine in tap water is very low in England and Wales compared to other countries where much higher levels of chlorine are commonly used.

Typically water companies keep the level of chlorine down to 1mg/l or less. However, when maintenance of the pipe network needs to be carried out, much higher levels of chlorine may be used. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set a health based guideline maximum value of 5mg/l for chlorine as a residual disinfectant in drinking water. As you can see, England & Wales is well below the WHO guideline.

If you occasionally notice a slight taste or smell of chlorine it is probably due to maintenance work in your area. It should not last for long and is therefore nothing to worry about.

But, you should contact your water company immediately if you notice a particularly bad or strong smell or TCP like taste which makes your water undrinkable, or you notice a smell or taste for the first time which does not go away in a short time. You'll find the telephone number of your water company on your most recent water bill.

Minor variations can occur in the amount and the form of the chlorine present in each water supply. Water companies set the levels as part of the safe management of the whole pipe network.

If your property is located near to the water treatment works the level of chlorine may be a little higher in your tap water than it is at properties further away from the water treatment works. Water companies have to have a minimum level at the remotest part of the network whilst also ensuring the maximum level is still acceptable to all consumers.

Your water company will provide you with a free water quality report showing the maximum and minimum level of residual chlorine in your local water supply on request.

What are the possible side effects of chlorine?

Chlorinated water may have a drying effect on the skin and this can make it itchy and uncomfortable. They unfortunately suffer the consequences of drinking, bathing or showering in water that contains chlorine.

This mainly relates to people who suffer from asthma or skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Chlorine can make these conditions worse. It can irritate your skin, make your hair dry, trigger an asthma attack and cause further problems for eczema and psoriasis sufferers.

A minority of people are allergic to chlorine.

Another reason why chlorine can be a concern in drinking water relates to the fact that some people can by very sensitive to its taste and smell.

These people would prefer it wasn't there and therefore choose to remove it.

What are the Best Ways to Remove Chlorine from Tap Water?

There are a few way to remove chlorine from tap water. Some of them are a little time consuming and one in particular isn't.

How to Remove Chlorine from Tap Water without Installing a Water Filter

Just bear in mind that the following three ways to remove chlorine from tap water are not quick!

Aeration

Let your tap water breathe

You could let your water breathe in the fresh air and sun by letting it stand for 24 hours. Because chlorine is a gas, it would evaporate.

But, who's going to pour a glass of water and stand it outside for a full day. We can just imagine the streets lined with glasses of water!

And this wouldn't solve the problem you have of chlorinated water coming out of your shower or running into your bath.

Boiling

Does boiling water remove chlorine from tap water?

Yes it does. You could remove chlorine from tap water by boiling it for 20 minutes, which is a lot faster than letting it stand for 24 hours!

However, boiling it wouldn't work if there was chloramine present as that stays active for much longer than chlorine.

Dechlorination Tablets

The next thing you could do is use tablets to dechlorinate your tap water. These tablets are safe to use and contain Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid).

They get rid of chlorine and chloramine. You could sling one of those in your drinking water or bath, but then you've got to remember to keep a good supply in the house. They wouldn't really work in the shower either.

What is the Fastest Way to Remove Chlorine from Tap Water?

Carbon Filtration

By far the least time consuming and most beneficial way to remove chlorine from tap water is to install one of our water filters.

You can either go for one of our drinking water filters like the Pearl T if you just want to filter the water coming out of your kitchen tap, or you can install a mains water filter and remove chlorine from every tap in your house.

Call us on 01352 838 281 to chat about how we can help you remove chlorine from your tap water, or send us a message HERE.

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