How to Remove Chlorine from Drinking Water?

How to Remove Chlorine from Water?

Since 86 percent of U.S. households receive water from a public water supplier--chances are, you and I have chlorine in our tap water. Chlorine and chloramine are disinfectants used to treat water-borne microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. majority-of-us-households-chlorine-in-water.jpg

Reverse Osmosis water filtration systems that incorporate carbon block filters are an effective way to remove up to 98% of chlorine in water. A carbon prefilter in an RO system will not only absorb chlorine during the filtration process, but also protect the delicate reverse osmosis membranes that can be damaged by contact with chlorine.

 Despite the benefits of chlorine and chloramine, new questions have arisen about the adverse affects of chlorine and chloramine in drinking water. In fact, many households are looking to remove chlorine and chloramine from their tap water.

Two Ways to Remove Chlorine from Tap Water:

  1. Distillation where water is boiled and decondensed is another way to remove chlorine from water. But the slow output, cost, and high energy consumption makes this method a less popular method.  
  2. Reverse osmosis filtration is a cost-effective solution to provide plenty of chlorine-free drinking water for a household. Chlorine is captured in the Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filter of an RO system. The GAC filter traps and absorbs the chlorine and then the impurities (chlorine, leadfluoride, arsenic, nitrates, pesticides, and more) are flushed down the drain. 

Remove chlorine and improve the taste of drinking water

Does Boiling Water Remove 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. But heating up the water to a boil speeds up the removal process. If your goal is to dechlorinate a large amount of water, boiling is probably not the right solution.

Is Chlorine or Chloramine Safe to Drink?

In low dosages, chlorine and chloramines are generally safe in drinking water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires municipal water treatment facilities to maintain chlorine levels no more than 4 mg/L. This amount is considered safe for consumption.

Most people want to remove chlorine and chloramine from their water simply because they don’t care for the strong chlorine taste or ‘bleach-like’ odor of chlorinated drinking water. 

There is also concern that chlorine can react with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter in water to form disinfection byproducts such as Trihalomethanes (chloroform) THMs and haloacetic acids (HAAs) which can potentially pose health risks. 

What is Chloramine?

In simple terms, chloramine is chlorine PLUS ammonia. Municipal water suppliers are now using chloramine even more than chlorine as a disinfectant chemical. One reason for the switch is due to concerns about the adverse effects of chlorination (see below). But the main reasons for the switch is that chloramine as a disinfectant remains in the water longer during the distribution process. 

To learn more about what's in your drinking water, you can access a report at Environmental Working Group (ewg.org). Simply input your zip code and you'll be able to see what contaminants are in your tap water, and specifically which contaminant levels exceed guidelines.

Concerns About Chloramine

The fact that chloramine disinfectant remains in water longer than chlorine (during the pipeline distribution process) is a PLUS for municipal water suppliers.  But the downside of chloramine's longevity is that chloramine is harder to remove with a water filter. 

  • Chloramine must be removed before using a kidney dialysis machine as chloramine can enter the bloodstream through dialysis membranes
  • Chloramine can cause skin sensitivities and reactions
  • Chloramine can cause leaching of lead from lead soldering or lead pipes (learn more about lead poisoning)
  • Chloramine-treated water should not be used in fish tanks, as the chemical can harm fish 
  • Chloramine causes strong bleach-like taste and odor (similar to chlorine) in drinking water 

How to Remove Chloramine from Tap Water

If you're mostly concerned with Chloramine removal alone, you can take a different approach than that of chlorine. Because of chloramine's low molecular weight, it cannot be removed with a typical carbon filter, but rather with a catalytic carbon filter.

These three filters below, are designed for chloramine removal and can be paired with the appropriate housings also sold at espwaterproducts.com

If you have questions, our customer support team is happy to answer your questions. 

Filtrex Chloraguard 2Filtrex Chloraguard 2.5" x 10" 1 Mic Carbon Block Filter w/ Chloramine Reduction (FX10CHLORA)

Filtrex Chloraguard 4.5Omnipure Q-Serioes 2.5" x 12" 1-Micron Carbon Block Filter w/ Chloramine Reduction (Q5629)

Filtrex Chloraguard 2.5Filtrex Chloraguard 2.5" x 20" 1 Mic Carbon Block Filter w/ Chloramine Reduction (FX20CHLORA)

Removing Chlorine from Drinking Water

Those looking for an economical, yet effective way to remove chlorine from water might consider installing a Reverse Osmosis System. The carbon filter stage in an RO System (as a pre-filter/post filter) can remove chlorine while the other filters and membrane in the RO System will remove many other contaminants including lead, fluoride, arsenic, nitrates, pesticides, and more. Learn more about what contaminants reverse osmosis can remove.

Water Filters to Remove Chlorine

50 GPD Reverse Osmosis System

PuROTwist 4000
PuROTwist 4000 4 Stage RO system
  • Quick-Change No-Mess Replacement Filters Under Sink
  • Compact Size for Simple Installation Under Sink
  • 50 Gallon Per Day Rated Membrane
  • 4-Stages of Filtration
  • Made in USA
  • Free Shipping
Retail $335.00
Sale $288.47

100 GPD Reverse Osmosis System

Watts Kwik Change 4-Stage
Watts Kwik Change 100 gpd RO system
  • Quick-Change No-Mess Replacement Filters
  • 100 Gallon Per Day Rated Membrane
  • 4-Stages of Filtration
  • Designer Faucet
  • Space-Saver Storage Tank Only 9” Wide
  • FREE Shipping
Retail $549.00
Sale $433.05

50 GPD Reverse Osmosis System

PureValueRO 5EZ50
PureValueRO 5-Stage 50 GPD TFC Non-Air Gap Reverse Osmosis System
  • Stardardized Design for Customization and Cheaper Operation
  • Compact Size for Undersink Installation
  • 50 Gallon Per Day Membrane
  • 5-Stages of Filtration
  • Made in USA
  • FREE Shipping
Retail $275.00
Sale $228.90