How to Filter Out Chlorine From Tap Water
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A significant percentage of US households rely on tap water. Up to 86% of homes in the United States rely on a public water source. The water channeled to our taps contains chlorine content that the treatment centers utilize to treat the water.
Do you know how to filter out chlorine from tap water? There are simple methods that you can use at home that we’ll explain.
But how can you tell if your water has chlorine?
You can tell the presence of chlorine and chloramine content in your water by the strong smell and taste that comes from your water.
The Chlorine in public water is caused by a process called chlorination. During the municipal water treatment process, chlorine is added to kill microorganisms present in the water.
Failure to eliminate these microorganisms could lead to highly contaminated water with the organisms known to cause major side effects, including waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery.
These diseases are known to claim many lives in the past.
Additionally, the chlorination process helps kill and destroy bacteria, algae, and mold that tend to grow on the water storage systems’ sidelines.
As much as Chlorinated water means that your water has gone through the treatment process, it leaves behind a high chlorine content in your water.
For this reason, many households seek to pass their water through further processes to extract the chlorine present in the tap water to secure their families.
Before embarking on extracting chlorine is necessary to evaluate the levels of the content in your water.
How to Measure Chlorine in Water
It is critical to evaluate the level of chlorine in your tap water so it can guide you on the best method to implement to extract it.
There are several ways to establish this.
1. Use a colorimeter
Under this method, you use test strips that change their color depending on the chlorine content present in your water.
These strips work together with a color chart. The color that the test strip displays will guide you on the best way to remove chlorine from your tap water.
To be on the safe side, ensure you use the EPA-approved test strips as their quality is guaranteed.
2. Use the DPD Method
DPD is a chemical reactor that indicates chlorine content in your water. If there is chlorine content in your water, it will turn the color into pink coloration.
3.Use the Amperometric Method
This is a complicated procedure that uses a special sensor probe that contains electrolyte potassium chloride.
To get accurate results, you need to strategically place the probe within the distribution system where the water passes. The probe measures the chlorine content through the current. A strong current is an indicator of higher levels of chlorine in your water.
This system can measure the chlorine content up to 20 ppm.
After establishing the chlorine level in your tap water, you can now settle on the most suitable and cost-effective way to remove chlorine.
Ways To Remove Chlorine From Water
There are several ways that you can apply on your tap water to remove chlorine from tap water:
This is the easiest way to remove chlorine from tap water. It is a simple process that, when well applied, your whole house can access high water quality.
The process simply works because chlorine is a volatile solute, which means the chlorine molecules dissolve in water, and when given time, it evaporates into the air. At room, temperature chlorine turns into a gas.
The speed at which chlorine evaporates from your water depends on your water and air temperature. Another determinant of how fast you remove chlorine from your tap water is your storage system’s surface area. A wide surface area of your storage space means that chlorine will dissipate faster since most of the water surface will be exposed to the air.
However, it is worth noting that this process only removes chlorine and does not remove the chloramine molecule in your water. Therefore, it is necessary to contact your water supply department to clarify whether they used chlorine or chloramine in their water treatment process.
To remove chloramine from your tap water, you will have to carry out a more intensive process.
The filtration process will require you to invest in activated carbon filters. The filters may comprise carbon in particles or granules form.
This method works through adsorption. This means the chlorine ions form a bond at the surface of the carbon.
With this method, the amount of water you intend to remove chlorine from determines the size of the filter you will buy. The carbon also requires frequent replenishing for the filter to remain functional.
Another filtration process that you can use to remove the high chlorine content in your tap water is known as Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (KDF). Under this process, you use the copper-zinc alloy to change the free chlorine to chloride through an oxidation process.
Additionally, to remove chlorine and chloramine from your tap water through filtration, you will need to invest in an elaborate filtration using a carbon filter.
This will help you remove the chlorine part of the chloramine molecule and then carry out a reverse osmosis procedure to extract any remaining traces of chlorine and dissolved solids in your water. You can also opt for a cation filter to extract the ammonia content in your water.
There are several types of filters that serve the purpose of chlorine extraction from your water. Some utilize activated charcoal, while others make use of activated carbon.
To be on the safe side, ensure the activated carbon filters are standardized against the NSF/ANSI. With this in place, you can be sure the filter can handle chloramine from 3-0.5 ppm.
However, for lower volumes of water, you may consider combining the activated and catalytic charcoal. This guarantees you great tasting drinking water since this combination does not remove the dissolved solids from your municipal water. This means the essential minerals are retained.
3. Chemical Neutralization
There are numerous chemical compositions that you can utilize in removing chlorine from your water. However, when utilizing this method, you ought to be keen not to use hazardous chemicals.
Some of the hazardous chemicals include sulfur dioxide, which is toxic and could damage your organs if present in your drinking water.
Consider utilizing vitamin c, better known as the ascorbic acid or sodium sulfite, or sodium bisulfite. When using this dechlorination procedure, first establish the effects of directing your water downstream. Further, consider the regulations within your locality that govern such an approach.
Such regulations exist to monitor the difference between the receiving streams’ oxygen levels and the ones you release downstream. The difference in dissolved oxygen levels could have adverse effects on the water quality for the whole stream.
Additionally, when using chemicals to treat your water, you need to have prior knowledge of whether the treatment facilities used chloramine to treat your water. If yes, you will have to evaluate the type of chemicals to use to remove the chloramine content.
This method allows the removal of both chlorine and chloramine.
This is a simple way to remove chlorine from water and have safe water for your whole house.
Boiling increases the temperature, which results in chlorine converting into gas, which evaporates into the air leaving you with pure drinking water.
Unfortunately, this system does not remove chloramine from your tap water.
Another disadvantage of this system is that it may not be applicable for large amounts of water as it may be a slow one.
5. Use Ultraviolet Light
When using an ultraviolet bulb to remove chlorine from your drinking water, ensure that the bulb’s wavelength falls within the range of 180nm to 400nm.
In some instances, the wavelength may fall between 180nm and 200nm.
Even though this bulb effectively removes chlorine, most households use this bulb as a water purifier as opposed to chlorine removal.
Take note that you will have to replace the ultraviolet bulb annually since the longer you use it, the longer the wavelengths will be, which means it may not serve its intended purpose.
It’s also worth noting that the U.V bulb will not remove other organic toxins present in your water. Mainly it will break them down, which includes any heavy metal and chemical content present in your water.
6. Use of Reverse Osmosis
Reverse osmosis refers to a purification process that utilizes a semi-permeable membrane. This purification process will require you to invest in the whole reverse osmosis system.
This procedure’s success in removing chlorine highly depends on the R.O membrane’s accuracy in the filtration systems.
The membrane, which is made from cellulose acetate, allows you to remove chlorine content in your water. At the same time, the carbon filter within the system prevents the pathogens from contaminating your water. However, you will have to change the carbon filter frequently for the optimal functioning of this system.
You will also have to replace the membrane at regular intervals, failure to which the chlorine will be retained in your water.
These recurrent changes of filters and membranes lead to some people considering the reverse to be the most expensive chlorine extraction.
With frequent use of the reverse osmosis unit, you will have to regularly check on the gaskets and seals of the whole system to ensure that you repair on time and avoid having leakages within the system in case of a breakdown.
Incorporating pre-filters in your RO system will maximize the chances of complete removal of chlorine. Also, it will protect your membrane, which the chlorine content in your water could ruin.
7. Use of Distillers
Investing in a water distiller will serve you effectively in eliminating 97% of the contaminants. Moreover, if you include carbon filters in your distillation system, you have the chance to extract 99% of the gas in your water.
To remove chlorine from your water through the distillation method, retain the system at room temperature. Since the gas is lighter than air, the distiller heats it, and at this point, the chlorine is able to exit through the system’s vents.
To boost the removal of chlorine through this method, you can add activated charcoal filters. However, you must be very keen when changing the screen since a small mishap can ruin the whole procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long does it take for chlorine to dissipate from tap water?
It is estimated that a 2ppm chlorine content will evaporate naturally from tap water at the rate of 4 days or an equivalent of 110 hours for ten gallons of static water.
However, when utilizing an ultraviolet bulb, the aeration will accelerate the evaporation rate and remove chlorine at a higher rate.
While boiling is the fastest way to remove chlorine from your drinking water, chloramine dissipates fast under all the methods.
2. Do water filters remove chlorine?
Yes, most of the filters are can remove chlorine and other chemical contaminants in your water.
However, when purchasing a filter for removing chlorine, be sure to find out from the vendor and check out the manual.
Also, ensure you invest in a filter whose components have been certified by the relevant bodies like the EPA, NSF/ANSI. That way, you can be sure that the filter will remove chlorine successfully.
3. What home remedy will remove chlorine from water?
There are several applicable procedures that you can implement at home to remove chlorine from water.
First, you can quickly boil your drinking water, which will remove the chlorine. The downside is that it will also remove minerals from the water.
Secondly, you can buy a potassium metabisulfite tablet, which is a bit affordable, and for 20 gallons of water, you will require a single tablet. Many households prefer this process as it’s quick.
Evaporation is another remedy you can utilize though it may take longer to remove chlorine from water than the other methods.
4. What are the effects of drinking water with high chlorine content?
It depends on the concentration levels. High chlorine and chloramine content in your drinking water lead to an unpleasant smell and the taste of your drinking water.
Small monitored amounts of chlorine present in your drinking water are healthy and prevent your body from waterborne diseases.
The recommended chlorine content in your should be 4 milligrams per liter (4ppm).
5.Will chlorine and chloramine in water affect my pets?
Yes. Unfortunately, the two components are toxic to most aquatic animals, such as fish. This is because they consume the water directly into their bloodstream, which can even be fatal.
For common household pets such as dogs, low levels of both chlorine and chloramine do not harm them in any way.
6. Can sunlight remove chlorine from my water?
Yes. Sunlight can remove chlorine at an absolutely fast speed. The free chlorine is lost once hit by sunlight.
Chlorine forms the hypochlorite ions, which disintegrates once radiation from the sun hits it, changing it into gas content that later escapes to the air through evaporation.
This dechlorination method is quite effective and fast such that it can take only two hours to remove up to 90% of chlorine content.
7. What will chlorine do to my plants?
Chlorine is a vital component of your plants as it helps in the photosynthesis period, where it ensures proper opening and closing of the stomata.
This allows your plants to freely control the entrance of useful gases and exit of harmful gases no longer needed by your plants.
While its chlorine is fine for your plants, check the levels to ensure that it’s within the permissible range.
Chlorine in drinking water, when controlled, cannot affect your health negatively.
Because of the strong smell that both chlorine and chloramine-treated water exhibit, it becomes necessary to remove the chemicals.
Most of the available ways inexpensive such as boiling, water filtration, and evaporation.