bottles of chlorine and other chemicals on a lab counter top

When we turn on our faucets, we expect clean, safe water to flow out. Tap water plays a vital role in our daily lives, from staying hydrated to cooking meals and maintaining personal hygiene. But have you ever wondered about the journey your tap water takes before reaching your glass? One crucial step in the water treatment process is the addition of chlorine.

The Role of Chlorine in Water Treatment

To appreciate the impact of chlorine in tap water, it's essential to understand its role in the water treatment process. Water treatment plants use chlorine as a disinfectant due to its powerful antimicrobial properties. Chlorine effectively destroys bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that may be present in the water supply. By breaking down the cellular structure of these pathogens, chlorine helps ensure that the water we consume is free from harmful contaminants. Furthermore, chlorine helps control the growth of algae and other organisms that can affect the taste, odor, and appearance of tap water.

Potential Health Effects of Chlorine in Tap Water

While chlorine serves a vital role in disinfecting tap water, there are potential health risks associated with its presence. One concern is the formation of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) when chlorine reacts with organic matter in the water. These DBPs include trihalomethanes (THMs) and Haloacetic acids (HAAs), which can have varying levels of health effects.

  1. THMs and HAAs: When chlorine reacts with naturally occurring organic matter, such as decaying vegetation or agricultural runoff, it can form THMs and HAAs. These byproducts have been linked to potential health risks, including an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as bladder and colorectal cancer. Prolonged exposure to high levels of THMs and HAAs may also pose a risk to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system.

  2. Respiratory Issues: Chlorine in tap water can release chlorine gas into the air during activities such as showering or washing dishes. Inhalation of chlorine gas can irritate the respiratory system, causing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma, may be particularly sensitive to these effects.

  3. Skin and Hair Irritation: Chlorinated water can strip the natural oils from our skin and hair, leading to dryness, itchiness, and irritation. Some people may experience increased skin sensitivity or eczema-like symptoms due to chlorine exposure. Additionally, chlorine can cause hair to become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage.

It's important to note that the levels of chlorine and DBPs in tap water are regulated by governmental bodies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, understanding the potential health effects and exploring removal options can help individuals make informed choices about their water consumption. In the next section, we will explore various removal options available to mitigate chlorine exposure and ensure safer drinking water.

Removal Options for Chlorine in Tap Water

If you're concerned about the presence of chlorine in your tap water and its potential health effects, there are several options available to remove or reduce chlorine levels:

  1. Activated Carbon Filters: These filters, available in water filter pitchers, faucet attachments, or whole-house filtration systems, effectively remove chlorine by adsorbing the chlorine molecules onto the porous surface of the carbon. 

    a woman crouched while installing the NU Aqua whole house filtration system
  2. Reverse Osmosis Systems: Considered one of the most efficient methods for chlorine removal, RO systems use a semi-permeable membrane to remove chlorine and other contaminants. 

    five NU Aqua reverse osmosis systems sitting on a kitchen counter top
  3. Vitamin C Filters: These filters neutralize chlorine through a chemical reaction between ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and chlorine, offering an alternative method for chlorine removal.

  4. Boiling and Aeration: Boiling water and allowing it to sit uncovered for a period can help chlorine dissipate naturally. However, these methods may not be practical for everyday use or larger quantities of water.

When choosing a chlorine removal option, consider factors such as cost, maintenance requirements, and the specific needs of your household.

By exploring these removal options, you can take an active role in ensuring access to cleaner, chlorine-free tap water for yourself and your family. NU Aqua Systems offers a range of high-quality water filtration products that can help you achieve chlorine-free water.


While chlorine plays a crucial role in disinfecting tap water and maintaining water quality, it's important to understand its potential impact on our health. The formation of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) and the potential risks associated with long-term exposure to chlorine highlight the need for exploring removal options.

Various removal options, such as activated carbon filters, reverse osmosis systems, vitamin C filters, boiling, and aeration, can help mitigate the presence of chlorine in tap water. By taking control of your water quality, you can ensure access to cleaner, chlorine-free tap water that is safer for consumption, bathing, and other daily activities.

Remember, safe and healthy drinking water is essential for our overall well-being. By being informed and proactive, you can make a positive impact on your water quality and contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

Cheers to chlorine-free tap water and a healthier future!