What are Chloramines and How Do They Affect My Family?

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Chlorine is frequently used in home swimming pools, hot tubs, and is commonly used as bleach in your home. Lately we are hearing more about something called chloramine which sounds similar but is different. Chloramines are a combination of ammonia with chlorine. Unlike chlorine which dissipates fairly quickly when exposed to air, chloramines remain in the water.  Both Chlorine and Chloramines can be added to your families drinking water by municipalities to make city water safe to drink by killing the bacteria. They both work well at killing water borne bacteria in your families drinking water. But if you think drinking and bathing in disinfectants is a bad idea for your family, you are correct!

Do You Have Chlorine or Chloramine in Your Water?

The best way to determine what is in your municipal tap water is to call your water company and ask what they use to treat the municipal water supply. By law, they must make the composition of your water available to you. If they add ammonia, you have chloramines. You could always test your tap water yourself. You can get test kits available that look for chlorine as well as chloramines or just test your tap water for ammonia because if it tests positive for ammonia, chloramines are almost certainly present. Test strips are available at pet stores that sell fish. Then you can choose the proper product to treat your families water.

Chlorine and Chloramines can be removed from your drinking water, although chlorine is easier to remove. The most common way to remove chlorine is to use a carbon-based water filter where your water enters your home. You can use a cartridge filter or back washable filters. Cartridge filters have the advantage of a lower initial cost, but require you to change them periodically as well as having the on going cost and maintenance of the replacement filters. Back washable carbon filters are more expensive up front, but filter chlorine more thoroughly and don’t require filters changes every 6 months for most families.

Since Chloramine is more difficult to remove than chlorine, there are fewer options. Cartridge based systems exist, but the cartridges operate on a very meagre flow rate, are ridiculously expensive, and the lifespan is very short. A whole house back washing filter with Centaur carbon is the best solution. These are highly effective at removing chloramine from your families water and do a great job for residential applications.

If you just want to remove chloramine or chlorine from your families drinking water, we have reverse osmosis systems for chlorine as well as a special RO system for chloramine water sources. They not only remove chlorine and chloramine but thousands of other water contaminants too for your family

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  • Gary Beutler