Why is Chlorine Added to Our Water Supply?

Why is Chlorine Added to Our Water Supply?

Water is one of the most crucial elements for sustaining life on our planet. Access to clean, safe drinking water is essential for our well-being. One of the key measures taken to ensure the safety of our water supply is the addition of chlorine. But why is chlorine added to our water supply if there are much better alternatives to producing clear and safe water? In this blog, we are about to explore the reasons why chlorine is added to our water supply and why it’s best to remove it.

The reason behind the addition of Chlorine to our water supply

Okay, so let’s address the elephant in the room - why is chlorine added to our water? Well, the reason is- Disinfection! When added to water, it reacts with organic and inorganic substances, including microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. As a result, chlorine helps safeguard public health by preventing waterborne diseases. Other than disinfection, chlorine also does the following tasks:

  • After the initial treatment, chlorine leaves a residual level in the water. This residual protection helps maintain the safety of the water as it travels through the distribution system to our homes, preventing recontamination.
  • Chlorine is effective in controlling the growth of algae and reducing the levels of organic matter in water sources. This is crucial in preventing the formation of harmful byproducts during the treatment process.
  • Chlorination is a cost-effective method for large-scale water treatment. It is readily available and can be easily applied to various water sources.

Check out this article to learn more about the process of chlorination!

Why it’s best to remove chlorine from water

Now that we know the whys of adding chlorine to water, let’s look at the whys of removing chlorine from water is better:

Undesirable Taste and Odor:

Chlorine can impart a distinct taste and odour to water. Many people find the taste and smell unpleasant, which can discourage them from drinking enough water. So next time you have a feel to drink some chlorine water, imagine its taste. (Please don’t drink it)

Health Concerns:

Chlorine can react with organic compounds in water to form harmful byproducts, such as trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs). Prolonged exposure to high levels of these byproducts may pose health risks, including an increased risk of cancer.

Skin and Hair Irritation:

No one wants their precious hair and skin to be affected by a nasty chemical! Chlorine in water can lead to skin and hair problems for some individuals, particularly those with sensitive skin or existing skin conditions. So, it’s best to filter out chlorine to care for your beloved skin and hair!

Environmental Impact: 

When chlorine-treated water is discharged into natural water bodies, it can have adverse effects on aquatic life and ecosystems. Chlorine can be toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms. By removing chlorine before discharge, we can reduce its impact on the environment and help protect aquatic ecosystems.

Based on all these concerns, we can surely confirm that chlorine is indeed an enemy worth fighting for. Even though it disguises itself as a hero in removing germs, the real effect comes into play when you see more hair fall than when you take your shower. By employing effective methods for chlorine removal, we can strike a balance between the benefits of disinfection and the desire for clean, palatable, and environmentally friendly water.

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  1. Why is chlorine added to our water supply?

    Ans. Chlorine is added to our water supply as a crucial disinfection measure. It effectively kills harmful microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, reducing the risk of waterborne diseases.

  2. Is it safe to consume water with chlorine in it?
    Ans. Yes, water with chlorine is generally safe to drink. The levels of chlorine used for disinfection are carefully regulated to ensure they pose no immediate health risks. However, some individuals may find the taste and odour unpleasant.
  3. Can chlorine in water have any long-term health effects?

    Ans. Prolonged exposure to high levels of chlorine byproducts, like trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), may pose long-term health risks, including an increased risk of certain cancers. This is why it's recommended to remove chlorine from water for long-term consumption.

  4. How can I remove chlorine from my tap water at home?
    Ans. There are several effective methods to remove chlorine from tap water. These include using activated carbon filters, boiling water and letting it cool, using dechlorination tablets or chemicals, or allowing water to stand in an open container for a few hours.

  5. Are there any environmental benefits to removing chlorine from water?

    Ans. Yes, removing chlorine from water before discharge can have positive environmental impacts. Chlorine can be harmful to aquatic life, and its presence in natural water bodies can disrupt ecosystems. By removing chlorine, we can help protect aquatic environments and maintain healthy ecosystems.

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