Chlorine Advice

Why is it necessary to chlorinate the water?

Chlorine is highly effective at killing harmful bacteria that may exist in the water or in the water supply pipes. It has been added as a precautionary measure to safeguard the water from potentially harmful bacteria and to ensure the water supply complies with the required drinking water standards.

Will chlorine affect my health?

Current studies indicate that using or drinking water with small amounts of chlorine does not cause harmful health effects. Its widespread use has been a major factor in reducing illness from waterborne diseases.

If you feel your skin getting dry or ‘itchy’ use moisturiser after having a shower or bath. If you notice increased skin irritation, asthma symptoms or other symptoms – seek medical advice. Even with the small volumes of chlorine used, some people will be able to taste it and some will notice the smell.

Can chlorine affect existing conditions?

Yes, in a small number of people chlorine can be an irritant for an existing condition such as asthma or eczema. If you notice increased skin irritation, asthma symptoms or other symptoms - seek medical advice.

You can contact Heathline 24/7 free on 0800 611 116 or your family doctor (GP).

How can you remove the chlorine taste from drinking water?

Chlorine will leave (or dissipate) from water quite quickly by putting the water in a container or jug  in the fridge. Boiling the water also helps take the chlorine taste out of the water.

Chlorine and Infant Formula

Chlorinated tap water is considered safe for babies who require formula feeding. If parents are concerned by the smell or taste of chlorinated water it can be left to stand in a jug in the fridge and the chlorine will dissipate (leave) within hours. All water used to make up infant formula should be boiled and then cooled as per Ministry of Health guidelines and further chlorine will be removed in this way.

Bottled Water

Authorities do not recommend bottled water for infant formula use due to the water not being monitored (not usually sterile). It may also contain inappropriate mineral levels – i.e. too much salt (sodium) or sulphate.

You may need to use bottled water to make up a feed if:

  • your drinking water has been contaminated
  • you’re travelling abroad and drinking the local water is not recommended

Boiling water to make up formula feeds

As bottled water is not usually sterile, it will still need to be boiled, like tap water, before you prepare the feed.