Chlorine and chloramine are disinfectants commonly used to treat waterborne microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. With 86 percent of US homes getting their water from a municipal supplier, it’s safe to say that most households have chlorine in their tap water.
What is Chloramine?
To put it simply, chloramine is chlorine PLUS ammonia. Municipal water utilities are now using chloramine even more than chlorine as a sanitizing chemical. One reason for the switch is concerns about the adverse effects of chlorination. However, the main reason for the switch is that chloramine, as a disinfectant, remains in the water longer during the distribution process.
Chlorine is added to our tap water supplies to help reduce the chance of harmful waterborne bacteria spreading through the water, such as e. coli and norovirus.
The strength of this chlorine scent will usually depend on the distance of which your public water source from your household. However, the smell can also be affected by the temperature of the water, as colder water can hold on to chlorine for longer.
Over time, chlorinated water will naturally lose its smell, but if preferred using a filtration system will eliminate the odor immediately.
On rare occasions, high levels of chlorine consumption can have serious health implications.
If you’re concerned about the levels of chlorine in your tap water, we advise you to contact local government departments.
Reasons Why You May Find Chlorine In Water?
Many know that chlorine is used to treat water; It’s simply the most cost-effective way to treat the many bacteria that might be lurking in public pools and drinking water supplies. Before water is transferred from the supply, it usually goes through several treatment steps before it reaches the building’s faucets and our drinking glass.
Chlorine is used as one of the last treatments to kill any remaining parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Adding this sanitizer also protects the water from germs as it flows through community pipes and into our homes or workplaces.
But despite its germ and bug-killing properties, chlorine can be harmful to our health. However, chlorine is often not the only problem. Disinfection by-products can be produced when chlorinated water enters and travels through a water distribution system.
Ways To Remove Chlorine From Water
1. Remove Chlorine By Water Distillers
If you want to know how to remove chlorine from tap water, you should get a water distiller. With this device, you can remove 97% of the element, but by adding carbon filters to the setup you can remove 99% of the gas from the water.
How does distillation remove chlorine from water? Well, the gas weighs less than air (at room temperature). But when the burner heats it up, chlorine becomes light enough to be removed through the unit’s vents.
Adding an activated carbon filter improves chlorine removal. While it may seem like a viable option, you’ll need to change the screen during the process. If you miss an exchange, the procedure can go wrong.
Remember that you should use this method especially if you want to show how to dechlorinate water. So when you treat well water, you don’t need to combine both devices.
Aside from chlorine, a water still can remove several other elements. It also extracts fluorine, bromine, astatine and iodine ions. Distillation also has functions that can be used to address pollutants in various forms.
All in all, if you are looking for effective removal of chlorine from tap water, you must combine the burner with activated carbon filters.
2. Use Reverse Osmosis To Remove Chlorine
Need additional tips to remove chlorine from water? If so, try cleaning your supply with a reverse osmosis system. But its effectiveness depends on the R.O. membrane on the device.
If it’s made from cellulose acetate, use a carbon filter to protect against invading pathogens. Be sure to change the filter regularly to ensure optimal performance.
Aside from removing less chlorine, an unaltered filter can become a breeding ground for bacteria. You should also make sure to replace the membrane regularly, otherwise, chlorine will remain in the water. Because these changes mean additional parts, the R.O. Kit is an expensive way to remove chloramine.
An RO unit is an ideal way to remove pollutants and toxins, especially when it has a new membrane. But with frequent use, it may have tiny holes that allow impurities to pass through. Also, after prolonged use, seals and gaskets may begin to leak, requiring repair or replacement.
3. Removing Chlorinated Water With Ultra Violet Light
A UV light causes various reactions that remove chlorine from hydrochloric acid. If you want to look at the wavelengths, this bulb does this job at values from 180nm to 400nm. Most often, the ideal wavelength for free chlorine removal is between 180 nm and 200 nm.
Few people use this bulb to remove the chlorine from the water. Instead, it is mainly used to purify water from impurities. Every year you have to replace the bulb on the device because it offers longer wavelengths.
Even if a U.V. Pear looks like a good idea, it doesn’t leach organic toxins from the water; it just breaks them down. It is also less effective against dissolved metals and other chemicals.
4. Remove Chlorine By Evaporation
The easiest way to remove chlorine is to simply allow it to evaporate from the water. Chlorine is a gas at room temperature and a “volatile solute” in water, meaning its molecules will diffuse in the water and escape into the air over time.
The time required varies with air and water temperature. Heating or boiling the water speeds up the process. Another factor is the amount of surface area for the volume of water; In a wide-mouth tank, the chlorine can disperse more quickly because more of the water surface is exposed to the air.
However, this method only removes chlorine, and many modern water treatment systems use chloramines. You cannot rely on evaporation to remove chloramines. So if you’re changing a fishbowl, check with your water department to see if they use chloramines. If this is the case, you will need to use another method to ensure safe water for your fish.
5. Remove Chlorine Through Chemical Neutralization
Several chemical compounds can remove chlorine from water. Some, like sulfur dioxide, are toxic and dangerous to handle. Others, like ascorbic acid or vitamin C, are safer or even edible. Other options include sodium thiosulfate, sodium sulfite, or sodium bisulfite.
The resulting by-products vary, and in some cases – for example discharging dechlorinated water into streams – environmental regulations may apply due to consequences such as reduced dissolved oxygen in receiving watercourses.
This is called ” oxygen scavenging”. If you’re trying to purify your water for uses like aquariums, double-check to see if your drinking water is treated with chloramines, and if it is, you’ll need other chemicals to neutralize it.
6. Remove Chlorine By Water Filter
Chlorine can be removed by passing the water through a filter with either granular or particulate activated carbon. The charcoal works through adsorption, the molecular binding of the chlorine ions to the surface of the activated charcoal.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services, it is important to size the filter(s) appropriately for the volume of water being treated, and the activated carbon must be replaced regularly.
Another filtration method is kinetic breakdown flow: using a copper-zinc alloy to convert free chlorine to chloride through oxidation. To remove chloramine, an extensive carbon filter (to remove the chlorine portion of the chloramine molecule) followed by a reverse osmosis or cation filter (to remove the ammonia) is required.
7. Remove Chlorine By Activated Carbon Filter
To remove the strong flavor and impurities in municipal water, a traditional water filter pitcher uses activated charcoal. But if you want the unit to deal with chloramine, the water needs to spend more time on the device. To solve this problem, consider using catalytic carbon, which works faster than regular charcoal.
You can also use whole house water filters with activated carbon. However, ensure they sport NSF logos on their packaging. With such symbols, you can confirm the unit can work with chloramine levels between 3 to 0.5 ppm.
For smaller volumes of water, try pairing the activated and catalytic charcoal, especially if you want to enjoy the cleanest form of water. Since these units do not remove dissolved minerals like water softener, you will have a great tasting product.
8. Remove Chlorine By Boiling The Water
Does boiling water remove chlorine and fluorine? Well, it might not take out the fluorine; however, it works well against chlorine.
Yes, boiling water for 15 minutes is one way to release all the chlorine from tap water. At room temperature, chlorine gas weighs less than air and will naturally evaporate off without boiling.
Heating up water to a boil will speed up the chlorine removal process. On a day-to-day basis, boiling water for drinking water is generally not feasible. If your goal is to dechlorinate a large amount of water, boiling is probably not the right solution.