How To Get Chlorine Out Of Water (And Chloramine Too!)
How many times have you commented on the weird taste and smell in your drinking water?
Do you regularly drink tap water but are worried about its purity levels, especially when it smells and tastes the way it does?
Does your drinking water contain chlorine and maybe chloramine too?
It is natural to worry about the effects of chlorine on you and your loved one’s health, as regular exposure to chlorine can have a long lasting impact on your health.
If you too have been worrying about any of this, this is where we come in. We will tell you just how you can get the chlorine out of your drinking water (and maybe get the chloramine out too!), tell you how you can tell the difference between the two and if removing chlorine from water is actually that important.
Not just that, we will also tell you if you need to remove this from the water you use to wash your clothes or do your dishes, and the best part of all – we share with you two easy DIY methods that you can try out at home, WITHOUT THE NEED OF ANY FILTER – to remove the chlorine from your water!
So if any of this has been worrying you, just read on!
What is the difference between chlorine and chloramine?
Chlorine is a type of chemical element which is mostly found in a liquid, solid or gaseous state. It is mostly mixed with different compounds and is responsible for giving water that salty and ‘off’ taste. Chlorine is often added to tap water or drinking water to make it cleaner and reduce the amount of impurities. However, regular exposure to chlorine can actually have a negative impact on health.
Chloramine is a type of disinfectant that is mainly used to purify water and rid it of impurities and contaminants. Chloramine is formed when ammonia is mixed with chlorine in order to treat drinking water.
While a lot of water treatment companies use various purification and filtration methods to treat water and remove its impurities and contaminants, municipal authorities still mainly rely on chlorine or chloramines for the same. Initially, the first choice to treat water meant for drinking was chlorine. Now, more and more authorities are switching over to chloramine.
Even though both chlorine and chloramine are used to treat water and make it suitable for drinking, here are some of the differences between the two:
- Formation: Chlorine is a chemical element while chloramine is formed when chlorine is mixed with ammonia.
- Shelf life: Chloramine has a longer shelf life as compared to chlorine and lasts longer before it dissolves completely.
- Less or more amount: Lesser amount of chloramines is needed to treat the same amount of water, as compared to chlorine.
- Different filtration methods: As they are essentially different, different types of filtration methods are required to reduce or remove chlorine and chloramine from drinking water.
How is chlorine or chloramine used to clean water?
Chlorine comes in different forms, such as liquid, gaseous or solids. When added to water, the elements in chlorine mix and spread out. This reduces its potency, but it is still good enough to kill the germs present in drinking water. This is how chlorine helps to clean the water. When chlorine is mixed with ammonia, it creates chloramine, and cleans the water in a similar manner as chlorine.
Here is a look at a possible chain of events that takes place when chlorine or chloramine is added to water to make it safe for drinking.
1. When it comes in contact with the surface of the cell, it disrupts the barrier of the cell walls.
2. This releases important cellular constituents that are present in the cells.
3. The functions of the cell membranes are terminated.
4. As a result, the cells cease to function any more.
5. Throughout this process, the microorganisms continue to die and are not able to multiply and lead to any disease.
Do You Need To Remove Chlorine And Chloramine From The Water That You Use For Drinking?
Even though both chlorine and chloramine are used to treat water and remove and reduce the impurities, it is important to remove them from your drinking water. From a health perspective to pain convenience and taste, chlorine or chloramine in your water can have some negative impact. Not only can it alter the taste of your water and other beverages, it can have potentially serious health risks if you are exposed to it for a long time.
Can Drinking Water That Has Chlorine Cause Any Negative Effects?
Here are the negative effects of drinking water mixed with chlorine:
- Using chlorine on a regular basis can create dangerous byproducts. This happens because chlorine mixes with the organic matter present in the water and creates a byproduct known as Trihalomethanes (THMs). If consumed in any way, even if you inhale it, THMs can turn toxic.
- As per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is evidence that supports the theory that being exposed to high levels of THMs over a long period of time can actually lead to bladder cancer. In addition, it also increases your risk of colon as well as rectal cancer.
- When a pregnant woman drinks water that has chlorine or chloramine in it, her chances of suffering a miscarriage or giving birth to a baby with birth defects automatically go higher.
Are There Negative Effects Of Having Chlorine In Water Used For Washing, Cooking And Bathing?
Yes, exposure to chlorine over a long period of time can have significant effects on your health and home.
- Chlorine is responsible for giving water the weird taste that is off-putting. This can discourage you from drinking as much water as you otherwise would have, and may even lead to dehydration. Also, when you add this water to your other beverages, such as for making tea or coffee, the strong taste can actually alter the original taste of the drink.
- When you take bath using water that has chlorine mixed in it, your skin and scalp may feel excessively dry. Taking a bath in chlorinated water can increase your exposure to chlorine, even more than when you drink it. When you use chlorinated water for a bath, it gets absorbed in your skin. In addition, you inhale the chlorine through the vapour that is formed, and this directly enters your lungs.
Are There Negative Effects Of Drinking Water With Chloramine?
Yes, regularly drinking water that has chloramine in it can have potential health effects. Here are some points you should be aware of:
- Those who have a low immune system should avoid drinking water that is mixed with chloramine. If you do drink water that has chloramine in it, it is best to first boil the water and let it cool, before you drink it. This is because chloramine cannot kill any pathogens that are present in the water, and getting exposed to them can cause various health problems.
- Being exposed to chloramine can lead to or even aggravate your respiratory issues. These can cause congestion, sneezing, sinus problems, coughing, wheezing, asthma and even breathlessness.
How Can You Remove Chlorine From Water?
Almost all the areas have some amount of chlorine added to the tap water. You can remove chlorine from your tap drinking water by trying out a combination of filters and see which one works best for the type of water you get in your tap.
Do You Need A Filter To Do This?
While you can surely use a no-filter method also to remove chlorine from your tap water (see our DIY methods shared below), using a filter means you don’t have to do any work. All you need to do is install the filter as required and get access to clean, fresh and delicious tasting water from your tap every day.
What Kind Of Filter Can Help To Remove Chlorine From Water?
There are various types of filters available in the market that can help you remove the chlorine that may be present in your tap water. Here are some types of filters that you can use to remove the chlorine that is present in your water:
1. Reverse Osmosis (RO) Device: Installing a reverse osmosis (RO) device is one of the most common ways in which you can clean your drinking water of any chlorine content. This type of a device has a carbon filter that helps to remove the chlorine and keeps your drinking water safe.
2. Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filter: This is a type of filter that will work best in a point of use (POU) water cooler. The filters in a GAC are made using raw organic materials such as wood, coconut shells and so on. The carbons are activated through heat, which increases the surface area significantly and makes it extremely efficient at removing any compounds that could alter the purity or taste of the water.
3. 10 (or 1) Micron Carbon Block Filter: This works very similar to the GAC filter and you can use this in a POU system. The surface area of this filter is already very large and allows it to trap and remove even more contaminants that could alter the smell and taste of your water.
4. Polyphosphate Filter: This type of filter can also work in a POU system, as the particles in this filter will dissolve and coat chemicals such as chlorine, magnesium, iron and calcium. It will then filter out all these contaminants from your water.
Can You Remove Chlorine From Water Without The Use Of A Filter?
If you are wondering how to get chlorine out of water, it is possible to do so by using different means. However, if you would like to try it out at home, without really using a filter, there are a few DIY methods that can be of help. Check out these steps in detail below.
Before you begin, do remember to check with the water provider for your area to find out what elements are mixed in the water. If it is confirmed that the water only has added chlorine, the methods shared below will work. However, if the tap water has any other impurities, the following methods will not be able to remove or reduce them in any way.
For these methods to work best, use a container or pitcher that has a wide mouth.
You Will Need:
- Water containers with lids
- Regular tap water
1. Fill the water containers with your regular tap water and let it sit for 24 hours.
2. Place it in an order, where the first container that you fill is at the front. Next, as you keep filling up the containers, line them up one after the other. This way, the containers will be placed according to the one that was filled first till the one that was filled in the end.
3. When you want to drink, take the container that is at the start of the line and drink from the same. Once it is empty, fill it up again and place it at the end of the line. This way, you drink the water that was filled first and the process continues.
You Will Need:
- Water container or pitcher
- Tap water
1. Fill up the water container or pitcher with tap water. Do not cover the container or pitcher, but let it sit for some time.
2. This will allow the chlorine to start dissolving and evaporate, gradually escaping from the water. If possible, leave it overnight or for at least 24 hours to 48 hours in the refrigerator, so that the chlorine can easily escape. Leaving it inside the refrigerator will mean that you can avoid germs and other contaminants entering the water which is a bigger possibility if the water is left outside the refrigerator without being covered.
How This Works:
Chlorine usually dissolves in the water within 24 hours and its effects start to reduce. However, for this method to work properly, it is best to remove the lid, wait for a few seconds and then drink the water. This will allow the chlorine to actually evaporate and move out of the water that is stored in the container.
What Kind Of Filter Should You Use In Order To Remove Chloramine From Your Water?
Chloramines have a lower molecular weight as compared to chlorine. This is why the filter that can remove chlorine from the water will not be able to remove chloramine from the same water. If you are wondering how to remove chloramine from water, you will have to use a catalytic carbon filter instead of a plain carbon one.
Will The Evaporation Method Work In Order To Remove Chloramine From Your Water?
Are There Any Filter-Free Methods You Can Use To Remove Chloramine From Water?
The safest and most trusted way is to use the right type of filter.
How Can You Find Out If It’s Chlorine Or Chloramine That’s Being Used To Treat Your City Water? Who Can You Inquire With?
It is difficult to simply taste the water and say if it has chlorine or chloramine. It is recommended that you speak to your local area water supply to understand what all is being put in the tap water that you get access to.
Is There A way To Test If It’s Chlorine Or Chloramine That’s Being Used To Treat Your City Water?
- Fill 2 glasses with tap water and add a few drops of chlorine indicator liquid. If the water has chlorine, it will turn yellow.
- Fill a glass with tap water and dip a chlorine test strip in it. If the reading shows the amount of free chlorine to be less than the amount suggested, it most likely contains chloramine.