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How to remove chlorine from tap water

Chlorine sign

Often added to water at a municipal level in order to disinfect and kill germs, Chlorine use in water is very common and can often be tasted in drinking water if drinking out of the tap.

You can remove chlorine from your tap water by using a Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filter that will absorb and trap most natural organic compounds, tastes, odors and synthetic organic chemicals.

Quick Facts

  • If your tap water has a chlorine smell it's likely down to the fact that municipal water plants use chlorine to eradicate waterborne germs like e.coli and the norovirus.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency requires treatment facilities to maintain chlorine levels that are no greater than 4 mg/l, as these are safe levels for human consumption.
  • The strength of this chlorine scent will usually depend on the distance of which your public water source is from your household. However the smell can also be affected on the temperature of the water, as colder water can hold on to chlorine for longer.

When water is provided to a community, it usually goes through several steps of treatment before making it to us. First, chemicals with a positive charge are added to the water in order for that positive charge to neutralize the negative charge that can be found in dirt and other contaminants in the water. After the chemicals are added, sedimentation occurs, which is when those dissolved particles in water sink to the bottom of the water supply due to its heavy weight. At this point, the clear water at the top will pass through filters in order to remove things like dust, parasites, bacteria, and other chemicals. It is after the filtration process when cities use disinfectant such as Chlorine in order to kill any remaining parasites, bacteria and viruses. Adding this disinfectant also protects water from germs when it travels through the pipes of the community and into our homes or workplaces.

Side effects of chlorine in drinking water

Current studies state that using drinking water with small amounts of chlorine does not cause harmful health effects. In fact, The Environmental Protection Agency requires treatment facilities to maintain chlorine levels that are no greater than 4 mg/l, which is considered a safe level for consumption. But although low levels aren’t necessarily dangerous, it can leave a less then flavorful taste and smell.

Remove chlorine from drinking water

In areas with a strong chlorine presence in drinking water, residents often ask how to remove chlorine from water after it has been treated through the city and has traveled to our businesses and homes; the right filter will do the trick and will leave you with safe, pure and odorless water.

For chlorine free water, one filter recommendation to use in a point-of-use (POU) water cooler is a Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filter. GAC filters are made from raw organic materials such as coconut shells, coal and wood and heat is used to activate the carbon, which significantly increases its surface area. This large surface area, combined with Carbon’s naturally porous properties, makes it incredibly efficient at absorbing and trapping any natural organic compounds, tastes, odors and synthetic organic chemicals from water that passes through.

Another way to remove chlorine from drinking water is by using a 10 (or 1) micron Carbon Block (CBC) filter within a POU system which has a similar approach used by a GAC filter. However, this filter has an increased surface area allowing it to trap a larger number of contaminants. The active carbon in is this cartridge filter can help trap chemicals, such as chlorine.

A polyphosphate filter is also recommended in a POU system, as the polyphosphate particles dissolve and coats around chemicals such as iron, calcium and magnesium in order to make it impossible for those agents to remain in the water that is filtered out for dispense.