In the UK, chlorine is commonly used as a disinfectant in the water treatment process. This is to ensure that drinking water is safe to consume before it is distributed through the water supply network. The concentration of chlorine in UK drinking water varies depending on several factors, such as the source of the water and the treatment methods employed by water companies.
Is chlorine safe?
At low levels, chlorine is safe for people to drink. In fact, the UK follows guidelines set out by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union (EU) for safe drinking water. Chlorine has been used to disinfect water for over 100 years.
Why does my water taste and smell of chlorine?
There can be many reasons why your water tastes or smells of chlorine. For example, if you live close to the treatment plant, your water may have a stronger taste and smell. The further away you live allows the chlorine more time to dissipate, resulting in a lower residual chlorine concentration.
Temperature is another factor as heat causes chlorine to evaporate and release the odour causing a much stronger smell. In addition, some people are more sensitive than others to tastes and odours, especially chlorine.
If a water main has been recently replaced close to your home, you are more likely to have a stronger chlorine taste in the water due to the use of new copper pipe connectors. Brand new copper pipe connectors will not absorb the chlorine in the same way as the old mains pipe used to, which means that some people may notice a slight taste in the water. Running the water from your tap will help to eliminate this. Over time, the chlorine taste will decrease.
If you are concerned about the chlorine levels in your tap water, it is always advisable to contact your local water authority or utility company. They will be able to provide you with specific information about the water treatment processes in your area and address any concerns you may have.