In most countries across the globe, chlorinated tap water is the norm, as using Chlorine to treat Drinking water has been the accepted method of sanitising drinking water, but recent studies have confirmed that chlorine causes toxic by-products.
The practice of chlorinating drinking water is a century-old strategy and meant to protect populations by preventing the proliferation of waterborne pathogens. It is, however, not necessary that we have to be forced to endure the smell and taste of chlorine, or all of the health problems that this carcinogenic can cause, according to a commentary published in the journal Science by researcher Urs von Gunten from EPFL and his colleagues at Eawag. The study shows that chlorine could be forgone if other protective barriers are in place.
The quality of tap water is determined by three factors; the quality of its source, the quality of its treatment, and the quality of its distribution network. Experience in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland over the past few decades has shown that the number of waterborne-disease outbreaks is low when none of these elements are compromised. What is even more significant is that it is even lower than in countries where chemical disinfectants are added to the drinking water to compensate for contaminated water sources, insufficient water treatment, and poorly maintained networks.
Research has however pointed out that distributing tap water without adding chlorine does come at a cost. In order to be able to do this, groundwater sources must be protected, water treatment must be properly controlled, and the regular maintenance of water distribution networks is vital.
Where chlorine can be foregone, however, the benefits are manifold; the water will taste better, smell better, and will be free of carcinogenic by-products, which means that it will be far healthier.
Until we can convince governments, local municipalities and water companies to do all this and forgo treating our drinking water with chlorine though, your best option is to invest in a mains water cooler that is fitted with a carbon filter that can trap all pollutants including chlorine by-products while providing you with chilled, great-tasting drinking water.
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