Drinking Water Standards and Health RisksConsuming drinking water containing chloride is not harmful to health. High amounts of chloride can give a salty taste to water and can corrode pipes, pumps and plumbing fixtures. Therefore, the secondary drinking water standard of 250 milligrams per liter is set to indicate water quality problems and not health effects.If high chloride amounts are detected, the water source should also be checked for sodium. Amounts of high sodium often occur in water with high chloride amounts. Excess sodium from salt in the diet increases the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. For most healthy people, a sodium level of 100 milligrams per liter of water will not substantially increase risk. Individuals on a low sodium diet due to high blood pressure or other health problems, are restricted to water within the 20 milligrams per liter standard. They should consult their physician about drinking water which exceeds that level.
Possible Source of ContaminationHigh amounts of chloride are associated with contamination from salt water intrusion, septic tanks, road salting and road salt storage piles.
Correcting the ProblemLocate and remove the source of contamination if possible. Water treatment equipment is available to remove chloride from the water. Contact a water treatment specialist. See the yellow pages under "Water Treatment" for the name of a company in your area.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR NEED ADVICE ON HOW TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM, CONTACT THE HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL TESTING LABORATORY AT 207-287-1716.