Chlorine in drinking water is not harmful, but some people are more sensitive to the taste and smell of chlorine than others. Chlorine is essential to protect public health and it is therefore added to drinking water at the final stage of treatment in order to kill any harmful germs that may be present, and concentrations are monitored closely, 24 hours a day.
We try and keep chlorine levels as low as possible whilst keeping our supplies safe. Chlorine concentrations can vary throughout the day and through the seasons, and may be higher if you live close to one of our treatment works.
The taste of chlorine can be reduced in water by filling a jug or glass container, covering it and allowing the water to stand in the fridge until needed. If you don’t use it within 24 hours, you should discard it – why not use it to water your plants rather than pouring it down the sink?
If you're really sensitive to the smell and can still detect it after storing it in the fridge, try boiling the water for about five minutes. This removes most of the chlorine. After the water cools, store it in a closed container in the fridge. Again, if you haven’t used it all within 24 hours, please discard it.
You might also consider using a home treatment device, like a water filter; generally these are not necessary, but some customers like to use them.
There are several types of water filters on the market, ranging from jug type filters to permanently-fitted devices. You will need a filter containing activated carbon, which absorbs chlorine and other substances that can influence the taste of the water.
Any device which is ‘plumbed-in’ must comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999. If not properly maintained, such devices may cause problems with water quality. Further information and advice about water filters can be found from the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme.
Sometimes, chlorine reacts with materials used for tap washers, anti-splash devices and seals in kettles, causing an unpleasant ‘chemical’ taste.
A chlorinous or metallic taste in hot drinks, especially tea, will not be due to the presence of chlorine. Instead it is most likely to be associated with plumbing materials, such as rubber washers, or if you have appliances (such as vending machines, dishwashers, washing machines) plumbed in close to taps used for drinking water. If you call us on 0345 6723 723 we can give you a check valve which may help to resolve the problem.