What Are Safe Chlorine Levels In Drinking Water?
Chlorine is long established as an effective and inexpensive form of disinfectant, and regulatory limits exist to control its safe use in drinking water. This follows extensive research, testing and reviews of health data.
The primary use of chlorine in drinking water is to destroy bacteria and viruses that can enter a water system, and chlorine has been adopted as the only large scale method used for residual protection of drinking water in the UK.
However, it is required that drinking water contains detectable levels of chlorine and that these are controlled, as some people are more sensitive than others to chemicals and changes to their environment. Patients requiring dialysis treatment, for example, are exposed to large amounts of water and so dialysis centres must treat the water to ensure all chemical disinfectants, including chlorine, are removed.
Chlorine levels in England and Wales
In England and Wales, chlorine levels are maintained by individual water companies, but typically the level of residual disinfectant in the form of free or combined chlorine is 0.5mg/l or less. It is possible that higher levels may be detected during maintenance, but this should be a short term deviation from the average reading. If the unusual taste persists you should contact your local water company immediately.
The World Health Organisation set a health-based guideline maximum chlorine value of 5mg/l in drinking water, however, in England and Wales, water companies have chosen to reduce this to well below 1 mg/l.
Given that water leaving a water treatment plant passes through miles of pipework as it is conveyed to your home or workplace, it is very likely that chlorine levels will vary at different points and from day-to-day, however, the long history of use worldwide – over 100 years – means you are unlikely to experience a change in level that will be harmful.
How Robinsons Facilities Services can help with chlorine levels in drinking water
If you are concerned about the chlorine levels in your water, we can test and monitor these for you. Our service ensures that levels can be controlled and monitored if there are any concerns, and regular testing will give you historical data to refer back to and a high level of confidence that chlorine levels will be acceptable. You can also contact your local water company and request a free water quality report.
Commissioning regular testing and monitoring of water systems ensures regularity compliance, and can also save you money in terms of identifying leaks or inefficient systems. At Robinsons Facilities Services, we can also monitor and control chlorine levels in your drinking water, to ensure that any supplies accessible to employees and visitors are safe and legal. Contact us today and we can discuss the design of your water supplies and the controls required to be implemented to ensure the safe ongoing use of drinking water containing detectable levels of chlorine.