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Have you ever opened your tap for a drink or wanted to do the dishes and noticed your water smelled like chlorine? Although the smell of chlorine in water isn’t uncommon, it may be unpleasant.
Rest assured, having chlorine in your water is a good thing. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stipulates that all public water supplies in the U.S. must be chlorinated. Chlorine destroys bacteria in your tap water, making it safer to drink. The best way to remove the smell of chlorine while keeping your drinking water safe is by filtering your water supply.
Learn more about chlorine in your water and how to improve your water quality below.
Is Chlorine in Water Dangerous?
When water smells like chlorine, you may wonder if it’s safe to drink or use. Municipalities have been using chlorine to disinfect water since 1908. Public water companies sanitize sewage and industrial muck with it. Some manufacturers use it to make goods, like paper and cleaning products, including bleach.
The amount of chlorine typically present in your drinking water is low and it’s there to protect you from harmful microorganisms.
Ingesting Too Much Chlorine
Consuming too much chlorine, like any chemical, can be dangerous. You can be exposed to high amounts of chlorine through:
- Skin contact: Your skin can absorb chlorine. Chlorine reacts with water, producing a corrosive acid
that burns your skin cells. If you’ve worked with bleach all day, your skin may feel tight and uncomfortable.
- Inhalation: The most dangerous exposure to chlorine is breathing it in. If inhaled in large
quantities, it can irritate your airways and you may struggle to breathe.
- Ingestion: You can ingest too much chlorine in your food and water. While drinking water rarely has
dangerous levels of chlorine, you or your municipality should monitor the chlorine levels in your system.
How Does Chlorine Get Into a Water System?
Your drinking and sink water smells like chlorine because it’s a necessary chemical to keep your water sanitized and bacteria-free. In fact, municipalities are often required to use chlorine in their water systems. Here are four main ways the chlorine smell gets into your water.
1. The Chlorine Interacts With Organic Substances
Chlorine may react to organic material in your water supply. Bacteria, algae and fungi gradually grow in water supply lines and eventually cause a sludgy biofilm to form. Once this forms, a reaction occurs between the chlorine and the slimy substance, which can create a pungent odor. In most cases, running the tap for a few minutes will let the chlorine clear your water.
2. Your Municipality Increases the Chlorine Administered
Now and then, municipalities will increase the amount of chlorine in a water system, a process known as water chlorination shock. In some instances, natural occurrences like flooding or heavy storms can contaminate the public water supply. The municipality shocks the water system to sanitize it quickly. In these situations, your drinking water may smell like chlorine.
3. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Requires Water Chlorination
The EPA sets the Surface Water Treatment Rules and all public water treatment facilities must follow these rules nationwide. The EPA guidelines require all public water supplies to be treated with chlorine or chloramine before it goes to residences or businesses. The chlorine helps decrease the chances of dangerous pathogens reaching your
4. Your Well Water Filtration Injects Chlorine Into Your Water
If you get your water from a well, you may have a chlorine filtration system. These systems inject chlorine into your tap water to remove bacteria. The periodic injections may cause the water to smell.
How to Remove Chlorine From Your Water
If your drinking water smells like chlorine, it can be uncomfortable or unappealing. While it’s likely caused by one of the harmless reasons listed above, you should contact a reputable local water company that can test your water if the issue lasts and becomes a genuine concern.
In addition, you can take several proactive steps to improve your water quality.
1. Short-Term Solutions
Although long-term solutions are preferable, there are a few things you can do in the meantime to reduce chlorine in your water. You can remove chlorine from your water by:
- Boiling: Allowing your water to boil and cool before you drink it will cause the chlorine to
- Cooling: Fill a jar or pitcher with water and place it in the fridge. The chlorine smell will
lessen as the water chills.
- Pitcher with a filter: You can purchase a water-filtering pitcher to help you remove chlorine.
2. Dechlorinators and Water Softeners
A dechlorinator is a water system installed in your home that removes chlorine and chloramine. It helps improve your home’s water quality and ensures your drinking water no longer smells like chlorine.
When combining a dechlorinator with a water softener, you benefit from an economic, holistic catalytic carbon filtration system. Simply put, you have a water system that efficiently filters out chlorine while keeping your water healthy.
3. Reverse Osmosis and Chlorine Removal
Reverse osmosis is the best and most effective water treatment system you can install to remove chlorine and other unwanted chemicals in your home. It removes particles and treats a range of water issues like:
- Chlorine and chloramine
- Heavy metals
- Organic contaminants
- Inorganic pollutants
A reverse osmosis system is a specialized type of filter. It runs your water through multiple stages of filters, ensuring your drinking water is of excellent quality.
Contact Culligan Water to Reduce Chlorine in Your Water Supply
Chlorine plays a vital role in keeping your tap water supply safe, but drinking water that smells like chlorine is unpleasant. You can still benefit from the chlorine sanitizing your water without consuming it — all you need is a quality filtration system.
Culligan Water has ensured that homes and businesses in Central Pennsylvania receive top-quality water treatments for over 80 years. Our highly-trained water treatment technicians can help you with a free in-home water analysis and estimate to ensure your water no longer tastes or smells like chlorine.
Make an appointment online or call 717-697-0657 to get started today!