Today, in the US at least, water is more readily available than ever before. However, it is still crucial to make sure that your family or clients are drinking water of the highest quality. Water treatment facilities use chlorine to get rid of bacteria and other harmful organisms. However, when used in excess, it can be a health hazard. Chlorine levels must be lowered before water comes out of the tap.
Understanding the Residuals
It requires several steps before you can treat water with a significant amount of chlorine. First is to understand the residuals, which come in different kinds. There is free chlorine, and there is chloramine.
Free chlorine is made up of hypochlorous acid, dissolved chlorine gas, and hypochlorite ions. On the other hand, chloramine is the combination of ammonia and chlorine. Many treatment plants in municipalities chlorinate but neutralize it by including ammonia to comply with EPA regulations.
The Power of Water Testing
Chloramine and chlorine may be excellent water disinfecting agents. However, they must eventually be filtered out. This is where water treatment dealers get a good opportunity to provide a solution. Because they are privy to the various uses of chemicals by municipalities, they can provide effective solutions and gain the trust of the community.
Water customers need chlorine to make sure that the water they get in their homes remains pristine despite the trip from the water plant to their home plumbing. Things like point of use (POU) devices help clean the water and get rid of the chemicals that treatment plants add.
Chlorine testing is done in two ways: through test kits and test trips. Some tests are done to check for both chloramine and free chlorine. To determine if you have chlorine or chloramine compound, simple tests can distinguish between the two, and quantify how much of each is present in your water.
The DPD system is often used. This is a specific type of test, using diethyl-p-phenylene diamine, wherein the DPD reacts instantly with free chlorine compounds, forming the red color. Potassium iodide is then added to the DPD to react with chlorine and chloramine. You get the difference between the reaction of free chlorine and the reaction of total chlorine to get the reaction of chloramine.
Health Effects of Chlorine
Water treatment facilities are doing a superb job of ensuring that American households get clean, healthy water. However, you must consider three things in the water: the added chlorine, fluoride, and plumbing-corroded metals. You don’t want to ingest these when you drink tap water. You definitely want them filtered out.
Chloramines may be harmful, but much less when ingested. You must, however, be concerned when you inhale them. Once they pass through your lungs, they quickly raise the chloramine level in your blood.
Chlorine is often used for drinking water as a disinfectant. It also helps get rid of bacteria and foul odor in swimming pools. When in the water, chlorine reacts by forming hypochlorites and hypochlorous acid. When ingested, these can be detrimental to your health.
Bladder cancer is one of the more serious conditions that may result from ingesting chlorinated water in excessive amounts. You are at high risk of contracting bladder cancer if you have been drinking chlorinated water for more than 20 years. Aside from bladder cancer, you are also at risk of developing asthmatic conditions.
For your own safety, as well as the safety of members of your household, it is best to have your water checked for its chlorine content. You need to make sure that your water poses no short- or long-term risks. Contact Spartan Plumbing for more information about checking your water for chlorine and other plumbing concerns.