What Are Chloramines & Why Are They Used in Water? - Water Testing
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Most public water systems use various chemicals to disinfect the water before it reaches the faucets in your home. One of those chemicals is chloramine. Chloramine is often confused with chlorine, but they are not the same. There are also different types of chloramines, and monochloramine is the chemical used to kill germs in drinking water. Many public water systems use chloramine as an alternative to chlorine. Others will mix ammonia with chlorine to create monochloramine as a secondary step in the disinfection process. According to the EPA, 1 out of 5 Americans is drinking water disinfected with chloramine.

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Is chloramine water safe?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that small chloramine levels, less than 50 mg/l in drinking water is safe, and 1.0 mg/l to 4.0 mg/l is considered to be within normal levels. However, some individuals may be sensitive to chloramine. Patients on dialysis need to be aware if chloramine is in their water. Also, chloramine is toxic to fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Consumers should not give those animals tap water disinfected with chloramine.

Difference between chloramine and chlorine

Chlorine is a gas that is widely used as a chemical disinfectant. It is the chemical that millions of homeowners use to kill germs and bacteria in their swimming pool. Many public water systems add small amounts of chlorine to disinfect the drinking water. However, chlorine dissipates quickly, and as the water travels through an underground network of pipes, it could pick up bacteria and germs along the way. As a result, public water systems are adding chloramine as a secondary disinfectant.

Chloramine is created when ammonia is added to chlorine. Unlike chlorine that dissipates rapidly, chloramine remains in the water for an extended period even after reaching the consumer’s home. While small amounts of chloramine are safe for humans, plants, and most pets, it is harmful to aquatic animals and reptiles, including fish, frogs, snakes, and similar animals.

How do I know if my water has chloramine?

A water test from The Water Source will let you know if chloramine is in your drinking water. Our water test will also determine the amount of chloramine and any other chemicals in your water.

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