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Leak at Youngstown Treatment Plant Raises Questions about Chlorine in Water


A recent chlorine leak at a Youngstown wastewater treatment plant has raised awareness about the chemical’s use in municipal water supplies throughout the country.

On May 4 2015, liquid chlorine began leaking from a pipe, leading to a mass evacuation of onsite personnel and a professional cleanup, involving responders in HazMat gear. Officials were initially concerned that blowing winds might carry harmful chlorine gases into the community, where it could expose residents to potentially harmful health effects, including eye irritation and breathing difficulties. Fortunately, containment crews were able to prevent mass exposure; however, the incident has raised concern over the chemical’s use to treat drinking water.

 

Water treatment plants often utilize chlorine as a disinfectant, how can you give your family cleaner, purer water?

Why It’s Used

As a halogen, chlorine is an especially effective disinfectant, able to kill disease-causing pathogens such as protozoans, viruses and bacteria, which commonly thrive in water mains, storage tanks and community water reservoirs. For this reason, the chemical is often added to community water supplies.

Unfortunately, like most disinfectants, chlorine reacts with naturally-occurring materials within water to create unwanted byproducts, such as haloacetic acids and trihalomethanes, which have been linked to health risks in numerous scientific studies.

When they drink tap water, people become exposed to these potentially dangerous chemicals. That said, the dangers don’t stop there. Since chlorine has a far lower boiling point than water, it tends to vaporize in the shower, where it enters a person’s blood stream via the lungs.

 

Alternatives to Chlorine

Given the potential health risks associated with chlorinated water, some communities – including Santa Clara, CA and Las Vegas, NV – have begun using alternative disinfectants to treat drinking water. Unfortunately, the vast majority of municipal water supplies still rely on chlorine to kill disease-causing pathogens.

For people who live in these communities, home filtration is the next best option. A Pelican Water Premium Whole House Water Filter delivers cleaner, safer drinking water free from chlorine and other harmful chemicals. For those living in apartments or condominiums the Pelican Water 3-stage under counter water filter will eliminate chlorine, chloramines, and other contaminants. This offers great-tasting water to drink, cook, and wash your veggies in. The incident in Youngstown just goes to show that unforeseen circumstances can greatly impact the water you use every day.

Pelican Combo System Salt-Free Water Softener Whole-House Water Filter