Staying hydrated is incredibly important, and many people rely on tap and bottled water to meet their needs. Bottled water can be less healthy than tap water, it’s expensive, hard to store, and it creates a lot of plastic waste. Tap water is cleaned to a basic standard with chlorine, and some water companies have switched to chloramines. There are alternative water filtration systems that you can install to improve the quality of your drinking water. In this article, we will take a closer look at chloramines.

What are Chloramines?

Chloramines are man-made inorganic compounds derived from ammonia that adds 1-3 extra hydrogen atoms to chlorine atoms to improve the disinfection characteristics. There are three chloramines in common use: dichloramine (NHCl2), nitrogen trichloride (NCl3) and monochloramine (NH2Cl). The focus of this article will be monochloramine, which is a secondary disinfectant that is now infecting our water supplies.

What is Monochloramine?

This type of chloramine was first introduced in the 1930s, and it has grown in popularity up to the present day. Monochloramine is more stable than chlorine, and it doesn’t dissipate as quickly. So, the disinfection efficacy is boosted for longer, and this is useful when you’re distributing treated water through a network of pipes. But, there is a problem, monochloramine is too strong; it can convert organic materials already in the water.

What Are the Dangers of Monochloramine?

These materials become toxic; they are carcinogenic chlorocarbons that erode and increase lead exposure. As you can imagine, this is bad for our health, specifically the renal, circulatory, and digestive systems. The EPA has regulations to limit the concentration limit of monochloramine to 4 parts per million (ppm). This figure is based on annual average samples taken from a given water distribution system.

How Can I Remove Monochloramine?

There are four ways to reliably remove monochloramine from drinking water. They are:

1.   Boiling

Monochloramine molecules can be disrupted with boiling, and it takes around 27 hours to boil 10 gallons of water. As you can see, this method is not practical for everyday use.

2.   Chemicals

The monochloramine can be neutralized or reduced with reaction agents, such as ascorbic acid, sodium thiosulfate, potassium metabisulfite, and more. But, these chemicals can leave behind other byproducts and residuals that reduce the water quality.

3.   Reverse Osmosis (RO)

This is a purely mechanical filtration system with a semi-permeable membrane. It can remove a wide variety of contaminants, including bacteria, chemicals, dissolved solids, viruses, and chloramines too. This process takes time, and the filtered water is stored in a tank for easy access. The main disadvantage of RO filtration is that it can create a large volume of wastewater.

4.   Carbon

Carbon is the fourth most common element, and it’s been used to filter water for centuries. Carbon filtration uses a process known as adsorption to trap a wide variety of contaminants, including inorganic compounds, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), bad odors, and chloramines. Carbon filters are easy to install, efficient, and they add no harmful chemicals to the water.

If you want to remove chloramines from your drinking water, contact your local water treatment specialist today.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.