Chloride is a common anion found in well water; it combines with calcium, sodium, or magnesium to form salts. For example, sodium chloride (NaCl) is a combination of sodium and chloride. Chloride is naturally occurring, it’s found in groundwater and the concentration tends to be higher in areas where road salt and seawater runoff are more prevalent. So, well water users near road salt storage facilities and icy roads that need regular clearance are at a higher risk of sodium chloride contamination. In this article, we will take a closer look at chloride in well water and how to remove it.

Sodium Chloride Risks

Chlorides are harmless to human health in low concentrations, but well water with higher concentrations can have an unpleasant taste and it can damage plant life. Another consideration is that sodium chloride is highly corrosive, it can damage plumbing systems and water using appliances over time. There are no federally enforced standards for chloride levels in drinking water. But, the EPA has made a recommendation that chloride concentrations higher than 250 mg/L will cause salty tastes and unpleasant smells. At very high concentrations, sodium chloride can contribute to high blood pressure issues, and existing heart problems can be complicated.

How are Chlorides Removed from Water?

There are two main methods to remove chlorides and many other contaminants from water: distillation and reverse osmosis (RO).


This is where the water is boiled, and the steam is collected as virtually pure water. This is an effective process, but it’s not practical for use for two main reasons. First, it takes a long time to boil the water, and this makes the process impractical in an on-demand system. Second, boiling all that water would require significant energy, and this would drive up the energy bills.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

The RO filtration process is mechanical, no chemicals are added to the water, and it’s cleaned to an exceptionally high standard. The incoming water is placed under pressure and passed through a semi-permeable filter with tiny pores. The contaminants are left behind on the surface of the filter, and they are periodically flushed away into the drain to keep the power clear. The RO water filtration process takes time, the purified water is stored in a tank for later use, and around 50% of the water is wastewater. The RO filter tends to have three or four filtration stages depending on the exact make and model. These filters remove sediment, chlorine, and other contaminants that can damage the membrane filter. There may also be a final granular activated charcoal stage to give the water a final polish for drinking and cooking.

In Conclusion

RO filtration is a more practical alternative when you want to remove chlorides and other contaminants from the water supply. This can be a point-of-use system for a single kitchen faucet or a whole house system that cleans all the water that comes into the home. If you want to know more about installing a RO filtration system in your home, contact your local water treatment specialist today.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.