Chlorine in drinking water
Chlorine is an essential element in the disinfection of city water and public water systems. It removes bacteria such as E.coli, and eliminates parasites and other hazardous elements from your drinking water. Chlorination also protects water from recontamination during storage and distribution. However, some people find the taste of chlorine unpleasant, and the added chlorine in water may dry out your skin and hair.
Some public water systems have higher than recommended levels of chlorine, which often affect drinking water quality. The goal of chlorination is to effectively treat water and meet EPA regulations, without compromising aesthetic quality. Nearly every water treatment facility in the U.S. uses a form of chlorine to clean drinking water.
While chlorine injection is essential for city and public water disinfection, some people may want to reduce or eliminate chlorine before ingesting it or bathing with it. Chlorine can be filtered out of drinking water before the point of use with a water treatment system.
Chlorine levels in drinking water
According to the Centers for Disease Control, chlorine levels up to 4 parts per million (ppm) are considered safe in drinking water. At this level, harmful health effects are unlikely to occur. Most municipal water systems have chlorine levels above 1 ppm. Secondwind Water’s system levels are often less than 1 ppm.
Secondwind achieves lower chlorine levels because:
- The majority of our systems are not influenced by surface water.
- Our systems have less distribution piping to disinfect.
- Our systems have less storage to disinfect.
- We test regularly for chlorination disinfection byproducts and work to reduce their production.
Chlorine and disinfection byproducts
During city water and public water treatment, chlorine may combine with naturally-occurring organic materials in water, forming compounds called disinfection byproducts (DBPs). DBPs may cause negative health effects in people after ongoing exposure. Trihalomethanes (THMs) in drinking water are byproducts that may encourage the growth of free radicals, which destroy or damage vital cells in the body. THM exposure is linked to cancer, asthma, eczema, heart disease and higher miscarriage and birth defect rates.
The Environmental Protection Agency sets limits for some DBPs. Public water systems using chlorine for disinfection must regularly test treated water for levels of regulated DBPs. If water is above the EPA limit, the water system must notify all of their customers of DBP levels and take action to reduce the DBPs.
Chlorine maintenance in public water systems
To achieve appropriate chlorination levels, ongoing maintenance of your chlorine chemical feed is critical. To properly maintain your feed:
- Make sure your chlorine day tank is full.
- Regularly check the chlorine residual in disinfection to make sure it is consistent.
- Have Secondwind rebuild your diaphragm chemical feed pump once a year.
- Consider upgrading to a peristaltic chemical feed pump as they are very reliable, have a long life span, and require less maintenance.
- Prevents your chemical feed pump from losing prime.
- Reduces scaling and clogging in your feed pump.
- Extends the life of your chemical feed pump.
- Regularly clean your day tank to reduce scaling
If your chemical feed pump is getting old, consider replacing it. Secondwind’s certified water supply experts are here to help. Set up your free site analysis.