Chlorine in Water

How many times have you been to a restaurant, grabbed for a glass of water, and the water smells like a swimming pool?  Probably too often. You can also experience this obnoxious smell at your home when filling a glass of water. Homes on city water will experience a chlorine odor.  It is mandatory for municipalities to add certain levels of chlorine to keep the water safe from bacteria and contaminants as it travels from the water plant to homes.  The closer a home is to the local water plant, the stronger the smell. The reason the smell is higher in certain homes then others is they have to add certain amounts of chlorine so it is able to treat water as it reaches its farthest point within the piping system.  To add to homeowners concerns about the water they are consuming, some municipalities have turned to using chloramines, a mixture of chlorine and ammonia, to treat the water. How does adding chlorine to city supplied water effect your home? What are the solutions to remove the contaminant?

Costs associated with chlorinated water can have a wide range, depending on the appliance and the parts to be replaced.  All homes use appliances and all your appliances use rubber gaskets and seals. Chlorines harshness attacks the rubber seals and gaskets causing them to malfunction.  It could be rubber parts in your washing machine, dishwasher, or kitchen faucet. In the home’s plumbing, A leaky faucets cause is often seals becoming warped. When a toilet leaks water, the flapper in the toilet tank doesn’t seal right.

Another issue with city supplied water is the resin bed inside a water softener. The water softener uses resin, tiny plastic beads, to make soft water.  When the resin is exposed to chlorine, it mushes together and causes no soft water within the home. The cost to replace resin in a water softener can cost three figures.  Not a cheap replacement. Any water using appliance using rubber hoses, such as a kitchen faucet, can leak over time because the chlorine will oxidize the rubber. Have you ever experienced a water leak?  There is no value on damaged valuables.

Although it is safe to drink certain levels of chlorine, the US EPA recommends 4 mg/L, it is not the preference of many people.  In addition to chlorine’s objectionable odor and taste, it can fade clothes faster making you replace clothes. Chlorinated water will also dry out skin and hair leaving you to constantly moisturizing your skin and hair.

These costs alone are enough for many homeowners to research potential solutions to eliminating the chlorine odor in the water as well as saving money from costly repairs.  A simple dechlorinator with activated carbon will remove any chlorine odor and taste from the water. The activated carbon will absorb the chlorine therefore giving your home odor free water.  With a dechlorinator, there are no chemicals or salt to continuously add. The only cost associated with a dechlorinator is over time the media becomes exhausted and must be replaced. Another option is to use reverse osmosis at your kitchen sink.  These systems are great for reducing not only chlorine levels in the water, but other contaminants as well. With a reverse osmosis system, your drinking that is only water.

Chlorine is necessary to treat water as it moves from the water plant to your home. It is not necessary once it enters your home.  It will cost your home money it does not have to spend. The next time you grab that glass of water, take a moment and think about what your drinking. Is it the best water for me?