Chlorine Water Treatment – Should You Be Concerned?

Chlorine Water treatment

Think of chlorine water treatment as a giant disinfectant tablet on a massive scale – because that’s basically what it is.

Adding chlorine to a drinking water source has been popular for more than a century, and it continues to be the most cost-effective, dependable method of water disinfection today.

Though this is true, many do not like the taste or smell of chlorine in their water, and furthermore, chlorine itself is a known carcinogen, proven in some forms to be even deadly. Chlorine gas is the first chemical weapon known to have been used in warfare, by the Germans in World War I.

So how can such a harmful substance prove to be so helpful, and what should you be concerned with about the chlorine in your water source?

The Superman of Disinfectants

As a halogen, chlorine water treatment is highly efficient at ridding water of most pathogens – microorganisms in your water that can be harmful to your health.

Though chlorine in large doses can produce harmful health effects, the amount in your water is not typically harmful. In addition, chlorine does something other disinfecting methods do not – it provides a residual effect.

After chlorine water treatment, water still may need to travel long distances to storage tanks and distribution systems. In places where water is not used, the chances of pathogen regrowth increases. This can cause a major mess, include slime and biofilms that could contaminate all of the clean water being distributed through the system. The residual effect of chlorine helps to prevent this from happening.

Health Issues

Current studies show that drinking water with a small amount of chlorine does not cause harmful health effects. While this is true, some people are more sensitive than others to chlorine and other environmental differences, and there is a concern of long-term risk due to chronic exposure of trihalomethanes, which is a byproduct of the disinfection.

This has some communities looking at other options. Las Vegas has emulated many European and Canadian cities in switching over to harmless ozone instead of chlorine.

Ozone is effective over a wide pH range and is very powerful, however, there are higher operational costs and it does not have a residual effect.

What’s That Smell?

While chlorine is safe to drink up to 2 mg/L, it can be smelled easily at anything close to half of that. Sometimes the water can smell or taste over-chlorinated.

Many times, particularly if there is a warm front in the spring, bacteria/algae blooms near the water source makes it necessary to add more chlorine to the water to reduce the growth of microorganisms and keep the bug population low.

What Can I Do?

The best idea for the long run is a Culligan Reverse Osmosis System, which is like having a bottled water company under your sink. The system requires maintenance; however, Culligan takes care of this for you.

Point-of-use water filtration is also popular for absorbing chlorine out of the water. While activated carbon can absorb chlorine, disinfection bi-products and organics, these devices are not privy to your specific water situation and can require extensive maintenance.

Hard Water Problems: Common Myths of Water Softeners

With the amount of news available to us today, seemingly endless amount of information broadcasted to us about water quality issues in different places around the world, and here locally in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area, it’s difficult to understand what exactly you might need to do about your hard water problems.

Needs can vary from area to area, and home to home based on what possible contaminants are in your water, whether you use well or municipal sources, and a variety of other factors. You might require a water filter and a water softener, but it’s important to know that a water softener will not filter out certain harmful contaminants, and likewise, a water filter will not make your hard water soft.

Water Softeners Are Too Expensive

quality water softener from Culligan® can pay itself off, and actually save you money the more you use it. It can help reduce water heating bills, extend the length of your other household appliances, reduce your laundry and dish detergent usage 50 to 75%.

Water Softeners are Difficult to Install or Maintain

For as little as $10/month, you can buy, lease, or rent a water softener from Culligan, then sit back and relax! Let us take care of the installation and maintenance for you. A Culligan Water Softener is also backed by a comprehensive warranty. Don’t settle for a transactional approach online or run off to your local big box retailer. Your water is more precious than that. Trust the water experts at Culligan, with more than 80 years in the industry.

Water Softeners Make Your Water Taste Salty

Just because you need salts to operate your water softener does not mean the taste of table salt will permeate your drinking water. Salt is needed for ion exchange, a process that takes minerals that make water hard such as calcium and magnesium out of your water system.

Likewise, some people worry – particularly those on low-sodium diets – that softened water is not healthy for you. According to the Mayo Clinic:

Regular tap water contains very little sodium. The amount of sodium a water softener adds to tap water depends on the “hardness” of the water. Hard water contains large amounts of calcium and magnesium. Some water-softening systems replace calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. The higher the concentration of calcium and magnesium, the more sodium needed to soften the water. Even so, the added sodium doesn’t add up to much.

 An 8-ounce (237-milliliter) glass of softened water generally contains less than 12.5 milligrams of sodium, which is well within the Food and Drug Administration’s definition of “very low sodium.” Thus, it’s unlikely that sodium in softened water would pose a risk for most healthy people.

 However, if you’re on a very low-sodium diet and you’re concerned about the amount of sodium in softened water, you may want to consider a water-purification system that uses potassium chloride instead. Another option is to soften only the hot water and use unsoftened cold water for drinking and cooking.

You Need Sodium to Soften Water

If any level of salt in any of your water concerns you, you can consider one of Culligan’s salt-free solutions that use potassium chloride. Although these do not eliminate the minerals that cause hard water, a salt-free system transforms the minerals chemically so they will not scale.  This is technically called “water conditioning,” though it identifies as a “Salt-Free Water Softener.”

Water Softeners Filter Lead and Other Harmful Impurities

Water softeners can get rid of certain minerals that harm your Philadelphia area home, but that doesn’t mean your water is safe from other dissolved solids or harmful bacteria. If you would like all the benefits of a water softener with the best quality tap water, consider adding a Culligan Reverse Osmosis drinking water system or Whole House Water Filter for as little as $10 a month*.

 

*prices, rules and restrictions vary with dealer location