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Water Q & A

If chlorine in our water is so unhealthy, why do they use it?

We have always wondered who "they" are. In this case it should be "we". Our public water utilities are governed by federal agencies; we govern these agencies. While chlorine and its byproducts are known to have significant adverse health effects on humans, we choose chlorine over waterborne disease outbreaks. We do not use chlorine because it is the most effective means of disinfecting water; we use it because it is the cheapest! With all the technology we possess today, we still essentially pour bleach in our drinking water to kill bacteria. There are several healthier methods of disinfecting public water supplies; some other countries have turned to alternative methods because of recent findings about chlorine risks. The problem is that these methods are much more costly and, in reality, less practical. The fact is that less than 1% of the water supplied to our homes is used for consumption; it is just not practical to produce “healthy water” from a central supplier. Most people would not be willing to pay the price for alternative disinfection ion methods, which would more than triple water costs. Logically, the solution is to keep chlorine in our public water systems right up to the point of use and then remove it with home water filtration. In reality, this is the only way to ensure healthy water.
 
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