How to Remove Chlorine From Your Tap Water - Water Wisdom - Mayu Water Blog

How to Remove Chlorine From Your Tap Water

Photo of Cameron-Leigh Henning
By Cameron-Leigh Henning
Photo of Romi Hector
Reviewed by Romi Hector

Updated March 14, 2023.

A drop of water leaking out of an old tap

One of the most widely produced chemicals in the United States is chlorine. Chlorine is an element and one of the most prevalent substances on earth. Due to its disinfectant and bleaching properties, chlorine is a common component in numerous products. This is why chlorine is used in swimming pools and drinking water—it kills bacteria and keeps the water clean.

Is Chlorine Dangerous?

Most water treatment plants use chlorine to disinfect their water. When added in the right amounts, chlorine effectively kills bacteria and viruses. When mixed withother elements, chlorine is quite safe.

Pure chlorine is very rare and takes the form of a yellow-green gas. This gas is very poisonous and can even be lethal.

How to Test if There Is Chlorine in Your Tap Water

The easiest way to test the chlorine levels in your tapwater is to use test strips. It is as simple as filling a glass with tap water, following the instructions on how to dip the strip, waiting a few seconds for the indicator color to appear, and then comparing the color to the chart provided. Chlorine test strips can be purchased from any pool shop or local grocery store.

How to Measure the Amount of Chlorine in Water

Chlorine test strips can tell you the chlorine level in your tap water, but understanding these results can be tricky.

The level of chlorine is measured in parts per million (PPM). The optimal concentration of chlorine in drinking water is between 0.2 PPM and 4 PPM. Anything over 4 PPM can cause negative health effects.

After dipping the strip into a glass of water, you need to interpret the test strip results:

  • 0 PPM: Not optimal This means the water has not been disinfected and could contain bacteria and viruses.
  • 0.5 PPM: Optimal This level ensures that the water will remain bacteria-free, even if new bacteria are introduced.
  • 1 PPM: Good This level ensures that water will remain bacteria-free, even if new bacteria are introduced.
  • 2 PPM: Not optimal This level means that the water will have an unpleasant taste and odor.
  • More than 2 PPM: Dangerous While chlorine water is not considered dangerous until it reaches over 4 PPM, water with a level of 2 PPM and above will taste and smell like chemicals. Long-term consumption could have negative health effects.

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How to Get Chlorine Out of Water

There are a few different methods ofremoving chlorine from your water, including:

Boiling Your Water

Boiling water for 15 minutes will release all the chlorine from your tap water. At room temperature, chlorine weighs less than air and will automatically evaporate off without boiling. However, boiling the water speeds up the chlorine removal process.

Reverse Osmosis

Theprocess of reverse osmosis effectively removes up to 98 percent of chlorine in drinking water. During this process, water is pushed through a very fine membrane that catches harmful compounds.

Ultraviolet Light

Ultraviolet radiation is an effective way to remove chlorine and destroy chloramines through photodegradation or photolysis. Photodegradation is the process in which harmful compounds like chlorine are broken down by light, particularly UV light or sunlight.

Ultraviolet light can also be used to makestructured water, whichcontains less chlorine.

Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters are very effective at removing chlorine from drinking water. When the water flows through the active carbon filters, the chemicals stick to the carbon. This results in purer water.

Can You Remove Chlorine From Water Without a Filter?

If you don’t have awater filter, you can leave your drinking water to stand. Chlorine is a compound that will evaporate from standing water if the air is warm enough.

Chlorine is considered to be extremely volatile and will evaporate from your drinking water without much issue, but the time it takes to do so is dependent on a few factors. The effectiveness of removing chlorine from drinking water depends on variables like the water temperature, air temperature, pH, the shape and size of the container, how much water is exposed to the air, and the chlorine content. In general, 2 PPM of chlorine will take up to four and a half days or around 110 hours to evaporate from 10 gallons of standing water.

Chlorine Free Water

Chlorine is used in drinking water to purify it and kill harmful microorganisms. Governmental organizations carefully monitor chlorine levels in drinking water to ensure it is safe for human consumption. However, if you want toremove chlorine from your drinking water, it can be done using a few different methods, including boiling, filters, and letting it stand.

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