Treatment facilities dechlorinate tap water to make it safe to drink. It kills the bacteria and parasites that can make you sick. But the foul flavor it leaves behind drives millions to buy bottled water. If only there were a way to get rid of the taste?
Before you give up on your tap water, we have good news. Dechlorinating water isn’t as hard as it sounds. From the surprisingly simple to the scientifically advanced, we’ll show you seven proven methods to remove chlorine from water plus one bonus step that could save you a whole lot of time and worry.
- Boiling: Easily dechlorinate tap water by boiling it for 10 minutes.
- Vitamin C: Neutralize chlorine instantly with a pinch of vitamin C powder.
- Activated Carbon: Upgrade your home with a filter that effectively removes chlorine.
- Reverse Osmosis: Invest in a system that offers comprehensive filtration, including chlorine removal.
- Chlorine’s Role: It’s a superhero in water treatment, ensuring safe drinking standards.
- Expert Tips: Discover multiple methods experts swear by for clean, crisp water.
The Purpose Behind Chlorine Addition
- Chlorine is a superhero when it comes to eliminating harmful bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms lurking in our water supply.
- It acts as a shield against potential contamination during the journey from treatment plants to your humble abode.
- By adding chlorine, we ensure that regulatory authorities’ safety standards for drinking water are met with utmost precision.
7 Methods to Remove Chlorine from Tap Water
Finding ways to kick chlorine out of your tap water is a must for keeping your drinking water pure and safe. So, let’s dive into a bunch of tricks the experts swear by. They’re all about making sure your water is as clean and crisp as it should be, so you can sip without worry.
- Boiling Water for Chlorine Removal
Boiling tap water is a simple yet highly effective method for dechlorination. When water is boiled, the heat causes chlorine gas to escape into the air, leaving behind perfectly dechlorinated water. This technique is particularly useful when preparing large batches of water for cooking or brewing beverages.
- Boiling is an economical approach that requires minimal equipment.
- It eliminates both free chlorine and chloramines.
- The process is relatively quick, usually taking around 15 minutes.
- Boiled water needs time to cool down before consumption.
- Energy consumption may be a concern if boiling large quantities frequently.
2. Utilizing Activated Carbon Filters
Activated carbon filters are widely embraced by households due to their exceptional ability to remove impurities from tap water, including chlorine compounds. These filters work by adsorbing contaminants onto their porous surface.
- Activated carbon filters significantly enhance taste and odor by reducing chlorine levels.
- They also effectively eliminate other common pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- Installation is straightforward and does not require professional assistance.
- Regular maintenance is necessary to ensure optimal performance.
- Replacement cartridges need periodic changing based on usage and manufacturer recommendations.
3. Harnessing Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse osmosis (RO) systems are highly efficient at eliminating various contaminants from tap water, including chlorine molecules. These systems employ a semipermeable membrane that selectively allows only pure solvent molecules through while blocking impurities.
- RO systems provide comprehensive filtration by eliminating up to 99% of contaminants present in tap water.
- They significantly improve taste, odor, and overall water quality.
- RO systems are particularly suitable for households with high chlorine levels or specific water concerns.
- So, let’s talk money first. Getting an RO system might hit your wallet a bit harder at the start. But hang on, it’s an investment that pays off.
- Now, here’s the deal – you gotta show your RO system some love. Regular maintenance is the name of the game to keep it humming like a champ. Think of it like taking care of your trusty old car – a little maintenance goes a long way!
4. Dechlorination Tablets
Dechlorination tablets – also known as “Vitamin C tablets” are a convenient way to remove chlorine from tap water. These tablets contain chemicals that neutralize chlorine upon contact, making them ideal for outdoor activities or emergency situations where access to clean water may be limited.
- Dechlorination tablets provide a quick and portable solution for dechlorinating tap water.
- They are incredibly easy to use and require no additional equipment.
- These tablets effectively eliminate chloramines as well.
- Continuous reliance on dechlorination tablets may not be practical for everyday household use.
- Cost considerations should be taken into account if frequent tablet usage is necessary.
5. Additional Methods for Consideration
- Ultraviolet (UV) Light Treatment: Exposing tap water to UV light can neutralize chlorine effectively. UV filters designed for water treatment can expedite this process.
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Adding crushed vitamin C tablets or ascorbic acid powder to tap water can help neutralize chlorine. This method is suitable for small quantities of water.
By carefully choosing the method that aligns with your specific requirements, you can guarantee that your tap water is entirely free of chlorine and safe for both drinking and other intended uses.
Water Filters That Work Best
When dechlorinating tap water, you have various methods to consider. Each method has its pros and cons, so assessing your needs is crucial.
Here are key factors to weigh:
- Effectiveness: Evaluate how well each method removes chlorine.
- Cost: Consider initial expenses and ongoing maintenance costs.
- Maintenance: Think about the effort required to upkeep your chosen method.
- Convenience: Choose a method that suits your lifestyle.
- Taste: Consider how each method affects water flavor.
- Environmental Impact: Opt for eco-friendly options when possible.
- Water Usage: Be mindful of potential water consumption differences.
Activated Carbon Filters
Activated carbon filters remove up to 99% of chlorine and other harmful contaminants. How effective they are depends on the quality of the carbon.
Examples of better carbon filters include faucet, showerhead and undersink water filters. Brita pitchers are a good example of a simple carbon filter.
Reverse Osmosis Filters
Reverse osmosis systems are equipped with an activated carbon filter to remove chlorine. Installed under the kitchen sink, they purify drinking water for on-demand use.
A reverse osmosis filter may be overkill, however, for dechlorinating water unless there are other worrisome contaminants in your water supply. For most families, an activated carbon filter will do.
Bonus — Make A Phone Call
When your typically clean drinking water suddenly takes on a chlorine taste, the issue may originate upstream at the water treatment plant. Water treatment operators walk a fine line, carefully balancing chlorine levels to ensure safe water without an overpowering taste. While they are generally successful, occasional missteps can occur.
For instance, a community in Ohio recently experienced an unexpected surge in the taste of chlorine in their tap water due to a malfunctioning chlorine injector. Occasionally, elevated chlorine levels can result from system maintenance or a water main break, which is sometimes unavoidable. However, if you encounter sudden or persistent high chlorine levels, it’s advisable to get in touch with your water supplier.
It’s important to note that it’s not feasible to completely eliminate all chlorine from a tap water supply. Nevertheless, if chlorine concentrations are excessively high due to an error, reducing them could make a noticeable difference in the taste you’ve come to expect.
FAQs — How to Dechlorinate Tap Water
Is chlorinated water safe to drink?
Tap water is safe to drink as long as free chlorine levels don’t exceed the EPA standard of 4 parts per million. Some studies, however, show a link between long-term exposure and health issues including bladder cancer and birth defects.
Chlorine is also a respiratory irritant. If you have a lung disorder, inhaling it in the shower can make symptoms worse.
Should I dechlorinate drinking water?
Removing chlorine is a matter of personal preference. Some people are more sensitive to it than others. If it dries out your skin, exacerbates asthma or makes your tap water taste so bad that you don’t want to drink or cook with it, it’s worth the effort.
Are chlorine and chloramine the same thing?
No. Chloramine is used with or instead of chlorine as an alternative disinfectant. A blend of chlorine and ammonia, it has a similar taste, but it’s tougher to remove.
Both chlorine and chloramine will evaporate, for example, but it could take a week for chloramine to dissipate. Filtration is equally tricky. If you drink from a chloramine-treated water supply, you need a reverse osmosis filter because activated carbon alone doesn’t remove ammonia.
Should I test my tap water for chlorine?
Public water supplies are tested for chlorine daily, so you can call your supplier for more information. But concentrations vary from home to home, so readings may not accurately reflect the chlorine content in your tap water.
Since other contaminants have a similar flavor, doing a test is a good way to verify that chlorine is the problem. You can buy a chlorine test kit for around $10.
Does chlorine in tap water harm plants?
The jury is out. Research shows that chlorine kills some species of beneficial bacteria in the soil. But they regenerate so fast enough that most plants won’t miss them.
Among experts, the consensus is that dechlorinated water isn’t harmful, but chlorinated water is safe for both gardens and houseplants.
Is chlorinate dangerous to pets?
Concentrated chlorine like the type used to treat hot tubs and swimming pools is toxic to cats, dogs and other small animals. But chlorinated tap water is safe.
Cats appear oblivious to the taste, but research suggests dogs may not like the flavor. So, refill Fido’s bowl with chlorine-free water whenever you have the chance.
Is chlorinated water safe for a fish tank?
From oxygen content to pH levels, the water chemistry in a fish tank must be carefully controlled. Chlorine kills fish and the beneficial bacteria that colonize the biological filter.
You can let the chlorine evaporate, remove it with ascorbic acid or use the tap water conditioner found in pet stores, but it’s critical to dechlorinate water.