Although similar in spelling, Chlorine and Chloride are actually quite different from one another! Here’s exactly what you need to know about the two and what it means in regards to water analysis.
First, we’ll start with a description of the two:
Chlorine: The greenish-yellow, highly reactive and diatomic gas that is almost never found free in nature by itself. Most Chlorine is commercially produced and is most widely known for being used within compounds to purify water and create cleaning products.
Chloride: The negatively charged ionic form of Chlorine. Since Chlorine is found deep within the Earth's crust, and is extremely reactive, the only way it can be found in nature is when it reacts with other chemicals and creates compounds. Chloride is what is created when Chlorine gains an electron and combines with other elements. Chloride is found abundantly in nature and is most commonly known for forming neutral salts such as sodium chloride (table salt), potassium chloride, and calcium chloride.
Chloride is needed by all living things for survival. It is a mineral supplement that aids in the process of photosynthesis within plants and even makes our food taste better! Not only is it important for plants (and your mom’s secret spaghetti sauce recipe), but it is also crucial when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Chloride is considered an electrolyte—a salt or ion in the blood or other bodily fluid that carries a charge. As you may know, these electrolytes play a rather large role in our bodies’ hydration as well as electrical impulses that influence our muscles, nerves, and heart.
Now you may be thinking Chlorine is quite harmful when ingested, so why do pools use Chlorine? The health department requires all public pools to have some sort of disinfectant and Chlorine is a very powerful disinfectant. It keeps the pool clean and free of harmful bacteria left behind by swimmers. If pools didn't use Chlorine, there is a greater risk for diseases and infections. Luckily, pools use small enough doses that are still effective for warding off this bacteria. That's good news since summer is right around the corner! By the way, did you know Eldorado Springs has a pool fed by the same natural spring from which we source our bottled water?
Even though these two pose quite the tongue twister, Chlorine and Chloride could not be more different. They are similar to siblings that share the same DNA but remain two entirely different people. Eldorado is proud to inform you that our drinking water is Chlorine-free and only has naturally occurring Chloride levels. Feel free to visit our water analysis page and/or comment below or contact us with any questions you may have about our Chloride levels or other electrolytes.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in March of 2016 and has been updated since.