We all know the smell of chlorine. It smells like a swimming pool, which sounds refreshing when you want to take a dip on a hot summer’s day! But then you turn on your faucet for a glass of cold water to drink, and it also smells like a swimming pool, that’s not very refreshing anymore. Why does tap water sometimes taste and smell like a pool? The reason is that municipalities need to add it as a disinfectant to ensure the water is free of harmful bacteria and pathogens after it leaves their facility to travel to your home.
Chlorine as a Disinfectant
The process of chlorinating water has been around since the early 1900s. Chlorination is the process of adding chlorine to water supplies to disinfect the water before it reaches homes. Chlorine is effective against most waterborne germs, including E. coli, hepatitis A, giardia, and more. It works by penetrating the coating, wall, or shell of the germ, and either killing it or making it unable to reproduce.
These contaminants need to be removed to make the water safe for people to drink. They can cause vomiting and diarrhea, as well as diseases such as cholera and legionnaire’s disease.
Effects of Chlorine in Water
While the low levels they are adding are technically safe to consume, there are still some side effects of chlorine in your water that may be unpleasant.
- Dry skin and dry hair - Showering and bathing in water that has high levels of chlorine can lead to dry, damaged skin that leaves you itching, flaky and constantly reaching for lotion throughout the day. The same goes for your hair. If it stays brittle and frizzy no matter how much conditioner you’re using, the reason may be that rinsing with chlorine in your water is stripping the moisture out of your hair.
- Water may taste and smell like a swimming pool - Chlorine is a strong chemical, so many people can still tell it’s there even when it’s diluted. Drinking water straight from the tap may have a sour or bitter taste because of the chlorine additive. While filling a bathtub or taking a shower, even the smell of chlorine can be too overpowering to ignore depending on how much your city is using.
- Can change the taste of food when cooking - We use the kitchen faucet for so much more than just filling up a glass of water. Boiling pastas or vegetables in contaminated water means that you are introducing those contaminates to your food now as well. The chemical taste of chlorine can leach into anything it touches and will even affect certain chemical reactions needed for baking, like using yeast for bread. Yeast is a living organism and chlorine is a disinfectant. If your rolls aren’t rising as you had hoped, the problem may be your water.
- Clothes can fade faster - The most common household product that contains chlorine is the bleach you may have on hand for your laundry. Ideally, a little splash in your washing machine will help keep your whites bright, but there is a reason you do not add it to every load. If you water is coming into your home with chlorine in it, it’s like adding a little bit of bleach each time you are washing your clothes. The constant exposure to this chemical will fade your colors clothes and degrade the integrity of the fibers over time.
How to Remove the Chlorine
Are you concerned about the chlorine in your water? Whether you’re sick of the smell, taste, or how it’s affecting your homes, give us a call! An Evolve whole home filtration system with carbon can take care of your problem. If you’re also dealing with city water with high levels of hardness, our dual-chamber softener and carbon filter can solve both issues in one reliable product. One of our trained technicians will test your water and make sure to find a solution that takes care of chlorine and any other water problem you may have!