Is chlorinated water safe to drink?

Yes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limits the amount of chlorine in drinking water to levels that are safe for human consumption. The levels of chlorine used for drinking water disinfection are unlikely to cause long-term health effects.

During water treatment, chlorine can combine with naturally occurring organic matter in the water to form compounds called disinfection byproducts (DBPs). DBPs can cause negative health effects after regular, long-term exposure. 

The EPA has set limits for several types of DBPs. All public water systems that disinfect must regularly test their treated water to measure levels of regulated DBPs. If they are above the limits set by EPA, the water system must take action to reduce the DBPs. This action includes notifying all of their customers of the DBP levels.


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1. My water is discolored, is it safe to drink? What do I do?
2. What is backflow and who do I call for questions?
3. Why does the City flush water lines and fire hydrants?
4. Why is all of that water just flowing out of the hydrant and into the street?
5. Why is my water so warm?
6. What is drinking water chlorination?
7. Is drinking water chlorination required?
8. Is chlorinated water safe to drink?
9. What can water systems do about taste and/or smell from chlorination?
10. Is there anything I can do about the taste and/or smell?
11. Are there other options for disinfection besides chlorination?
12. What about bathing or showering with chlorinated water?
13. Does chlorine affect home water treatment, like water softening?