Chloride occurs naturally as a component of salts. Chloride salts are widely used in snow and ice control and in the production of industrial chemicals, including fertilizers. Natural resource extraction can also produce areas with elevated levels of chloride.
Chloride in Drinking Water
High levels of chloride in water supplies can be indicated by the water having a salty taste. Chloride is considered a 'nuisance chemical' by the EPA, which means it may cause cosmetic or aesthetic effects in drinking water. In high concentrations, chloride may erode pipes and well casings.