Chloramine is a type of disinfectant that is added to drinking water systems. It occurs by mixing ammonia and chlorine. It kills harmful bacteria in the water and prevents illnesses and viruses caused by germs.
Chloramine is not as strong as chlorine, but it is more secure and extends its cleansing benefits throughout the water utility distribution system. Chloramine disinfection methods in water systems has been present for approximately 90 years and is regulated by the government. Water that has chloramines is safe for bathing, cooking, drinking, and other household purposes.
Rules and regulations
Chloramine water levels are strictly controlled and regulated by the government. The Environmental Protection Agency allows 4 parts per million (4 milligrams/liters) of chlorine in the drinking water system. Chlorine levels change seasonally. The acceptable amount can range from 2.2 mg per liter in fall/winter, and 2.5 mg per liter in spring/summer.
Chloraminated water and health
Those who consume chloraminated water that exceeds the Maximum Residual Disinfectant level of 4 milligrams per liter might experience some irritation to the eyes and stomach. Chloramine has the potential to cause problems and risks for kidney dialysis patients, reptiles, industrial users, and aquarium fish.
Benefits and advantages
Taste and smell
Chloraminated water does not have any chemical odor or strong taste of chlorine. Most people do not notice the change of smell and taste when chloramine is present in the water. Many report an improvement in the taste and smell of water that has been through the process of chloramination.
However, some consumers are more sensitive to the taste of chloraminated water than others. Besides individual sensitivity, the altering taste can be caused by seasonal change. Chlorine levels in water are lower during cold times, as microbial organisms are less active during this period of the year. The deliberate flushing of fire hydrants for maintaining high-quality drinking water can also enhance the taste of choline in drinking water, making consumers more aware of its presence.
Removal of chloramines with a countertop water filter
Chloramine can be manually removed from water if so desired. Two practical methods of doing this is to purchase a chemical to neutralize chloramines and/or use a granular-activated carbon filter. Best Countertop Water Filter Comparison – Review the Top Rated Purifiers.
The carbon filter must be of high-quality granular-activated carbon and should be operated at a slow rate to properly remove chloramine. It will also remove chlorine, organics, some types of pesticides, radon, hydrogen sulfide, and THM's from the water.
Chloramine is a safe water disinfection method and has been used worldwide for almost a century. It is acceptable for cooking, baking, bathing, drinking, and other related purposes and is regularly monitored by the Government. Chloraminated water does not have any serious side effects or health risks. It eliminates most viruses and bacteria. It reduces diarrheal diseases and serves as a long lasting protection against microbes. It does not react with other organic compounds and does not cause a strong smell or taste. In most cases, the water does not have any strong smell or taste and chloramines can easily be removed by using a chemical or a carbon filter if a consumer so desired.