Frequent Questions

What is the federal standard for chloride in drinking water?

There is no federally enforceable standard (i.e., Maximum Contaminant Level) for chloride in drinking water. However, EPA did set a recommended standard for chloride levels in drinking water at 250 mg/L. Drinking water with chloride levels above 250mg/L may exhibit a salty taste. Secondary standards or Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels (SMCLs) are developed to protect the aesthetic quality of water, such as taste, odor, color, and appearance. SMCLs are non-enforceable guidelines that states may choose to implement. Contact your state drinking water office to determine if your state set an enforceable chloride level in drinking water. State drinking water office contact information is available by clicking on your state at

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