Residual chlorine in drinking water standards

- May 22, 2018-

Today, water is becoming even more of a precious commodity than ever before, which is why it is of the utmost importance that your customers drink the highest quality of water. Using chlorine is one way water treatment facilities keep water free of bacteria and harmful organisms, but too much chlorine in the water supply can also be hazardous if not reduced before coming out of your customers’ tap.

Health effects from chlorine

According to Jaunakais, water treatment plants do a great job of making sure all American citizens have healthy, clean water, but there are three considerations in the water that your customers should be aware of: Fluoride, metals that corrode from plumbing and the added chlorine.

“Health wise, you don”t want to drink that stuff when it gets to your tap. You want to filter it out,” says Jaunakais. “While chloramines are harmful, [they are] not so much when you drink them, but everyone needs to be aware of inhalation concerns. When you inhale chloramines, they pass through your lungs and readily elevate the chloramines in your bloodstream.”

Chlorine is used as a disinfectant for drinking water and in swimming pools to help eliminate bacteria and odors. In water, the chlorine reacts to form hypochlorous acid and hypochlorites, and could potentially be harmful if consumed.

The main health effect that comes from drinking too much chlorinated water is bladder cancer.

“If you drink chlorinated water for 20 years or more it can increase your chances of having bladder cancer,” explaines Jaunakais. “The possibility of bladder cancer for people who drink well water that has not been chlorinated versus city people who drink chlorinated water has been documented very carefully [over the years]. There are real, clear statistics that show chlorinated water increases the chances of bladder cancer.”

Drinking chlorinated water over a long period of time may also cause a person to develop asthmatic conditions.

Trihalomethanes are one of the more dangerous byproducts of chlorine that have been proven to have a negative effect when coming into contact with humans. Inhaling THMs can affect the body”s central nervous system and cause abnormalities to the liver and kidneys.

It is vital for the protection of your customers that you make sure water is tested correctly and that there are no short- or long-term risks present in their water before suggesting treatment or pretreatment.

“Our society is preoccupied with living forever, and you don”t live forever if you consume toxic chemicals,” says Jaunakais. “That”s what the POU [devices] and the whole water industry are based on … how to make our drinking water safer.”