Chlorine Levels In Drinking Water

If you are on a municipal water supply, you have chlorine in your drinking water supply.  This level is regulated under the Safe Water Drinking Act to be between 0.4 and 4.0 parts per million.

Dangers of Chlorine In Drinking Water

The real danger in drinking water is when chlorine interacts with organic matter.  This creates this list of known carcinogens that are combined under a measurement called total trihalomethanes (TTHMs).

There is a huge gap between what is accepted as a healthy level and what is a legal level.

One of the THMs, dibromochloromethane, is not a health hazard under 0.4 parts per billion.  The legal limit is a whopping 80 parts per billion — 200 times more than what is considered healthy!

The Safe Water Drinking Act, quite fairly, puts a higher value on acute risks like bacteria than long-term risk like increased risk of cancer.  It’s not economically feasible to provide truly suitable drinking water for fire hydrants and for watering your lawn.

How To Remove Chlorine From Drinking Water

Carbon is probably the most common method.  Like anything, quality matters.  Some lower end filters are required to remove at least 50% of the chlorine.  Higher level filters will remove 99.99%.

At the point that you can smell chlorine, there is too much.  Yet, chlorine also has this incredible ability to burn out your ability to smell it.  If you are on city water, there is more chlorine than you should drink.  While you and I might not be able to smell it, fill two dog bowls and see which one Fido drinks from.

Whole-House Chlorine Removal

How aggressive is chlorine?  It is the leading cause of water softener failure.  Water softener resin is essentially a glass and plastic chemically bound together.  Chlorine is aggressive enough to break that bond.

The rate that resin fails is equal to (in years): 10 divided by parts per million of chlorine.

In other parts of the country, they do use more–some areas running as many as 2.5-3.5 ppm.  Racine water is probably the most heavily chlorinated we see around here.  Some areas are less, but all have chlorine.

Our Solutions

Personally, anything that will break up polystyrene divinylbenzene (how geeks talk about water softener resin), is going to be removed from my water before I drink it, before a pet drinks it, or before family drinks it.

We do whole-house chlorine removal.  That’s a dechlorinator.  It goes between the water meter and the softener.  This treats every last drop.  This is a great solution if a softener is already in place.

We carry quad-tank units that take the high-efficiency softener, stacking a dechlorinator on each of the high-efficiency tanks.  For a home with no existing treatment, this is great value.

We carry extremely high-grade, long-lasting carbon block filters.  These will remove 99.99% of chlorine.  Inside our reverse osmosis systems, the filters also contain carbon to protect the membrane and polish the flavor of the water.