If you stop to think about chlorine being added to water, the first thing which probably springs to mind is the strong disinfectant smell which greets you when you pay a visit to your local swimming pool. Chlorine is also added to your drinking water, however, as a means of killing the many harmful bacteria and other substances which, if left unchecked, could cause illnesses. The amount of chlorine added to your drinking water is kept as low as it can be whilst still being effective, and your local water authority will probably be able to supply literature outlining the minimum and maximum concentrations usually found in their supplies as they use chlorine analysing equipment.
Although, in low concentration, chlorine is thought to be harmless, there have been health questions raised regarding the effects of long term ingestion. Chlorine has been known to react with organic matter present in all water and form a by-product known as Trihalomethanes (THM’s). THM’s have been flagged on several occasions as being suspected carcinogens, which is to say that there are some findings which indicate they may be cancer causing.
In addition to this fairly low risk there is the fact that some people have sensitivity to chlorine which means that they can taste and smell it in the water they use. One easy solution to this problem is to draw a jug of water and then chill it, with a lid on, in your refrigerator for a couple of hours. If you’re concerned about the levels of chlorine in your water supply, and wish to keep it as low as possible while still able to have its’ intended effect, then testing kits for home use are available. The average kit will test for a whole range of contaminants, as well as putting your mind at rest re chlorine.