Chloramines - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by AWolf View Post
Washington D.C.
All of Tennessee

Many small towns do not use chloramines that I have lived in outside of those listed. Small towns don't need chloramines. You find it mostly in very large cities. Oh, and it is banned in all of Germany, and most of Europe. But of course, you already knew all of this and just wanted to see if I didn't. Is there anything else I can do for you, besides your research? ...No, I won't KYA. :} You are too easy.
https://www.dcwater.com/waterquality/chlorine.cfm

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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 03:07 AM
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https://www.dcwater.com/waterquality/chlorine.cfm

Oops.

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That is good to know. I remember back in 2001-2004 they had huge lead levels in their water supply due to the use of chloramines, and read many articles about them stopping the use. I see by your article that they just stop for about a month each year to clear out the pipes so they don't have that build up of lead any more. Too bad, really. Chloramine is nasty stuff. But, I was right about every one else! Good job!
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 03:43 AM
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In many cases the switch is done for multiple reasons. In some cases it is cheaper or makes less corrosion in pipes. But at the places I've worked the expense of changing out a chlorinator system to put in chloramine was more than we wanted to spend. It does let the supplier use less chemical to maintain the required residual at the end user. This is the part that creates the problem for us. Chlorine gasses off or reacts with metal pipes much quicker than chloramine so the chlorine level leaving the plant has to be higher to get to the end user with the correct amount. When chloramine is used, It can start at a lower level as it doesn't burn off as much as it sets in the pipes.
One major reason for the health folks to up the standards in some places is the safety aspect of chloramine over chlorine. It has been known for a long time that chlorine can leave far more carcinogens. In a large metro area, there are far more people prone to being harmed by those and the company is also far better prepared to make the big investment to change over. So it makes it much more acceptable to change large city suppliers and leave the small community wells on chlorine. At the site I monitored, the expense was going to be over ten thousand dollars. With about one hundred meters, we could not even consider the switch. But our source water had never indicated any problems. But each system is engineered and designed for the local conditions.
There are always calculated risks in any health field and this is just another one. It's also obvious from the news coming out of Michigan and Ohio that there are places where safety and life concerns are overridden by saving money.
The only place I've heard of going from chloramine to chlorine is reading about it on the internet.
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 04:04 AM
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Where I live, we use a GAC (carbon filtration) system, instead of chloramines. It does cost more, but the residents all agreed we would be willing to pay the extra to keep chloramines out of our water. I live in one of the largest Counties in Virginia. So it is possible to have a system in place for 100 thousand or more people.
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 05:37 AM
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Do you mean all households have a carbon filter installed to remove whatever "preservatives" the utility needs to add? I don't think it would make sense for the utility to carbon filter at the plant, but then not add anything to prevent contamination on the way to customers.


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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 05:52 AM
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The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has a website that discusses Chloramine in drinking water: Disinfection with Chlorine & Chloramine | Water Treatment | Public Water Systems | Drinking Water | Healthy Water | CDC

I can see no reason to disbelieve what they say there.

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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 06:02 AM
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PlantedRich I believe you have flipped chlorine and chloramines. My water departments experts actually told me that Mesa AZ water department does not like to use chloramines since it activates natural organic compounds in surface water that DOES produce cancer causing compounds. Chloramines are more stable than chlorine thats why it lasts for weeks in aged water. Sunlight does break the bonds though after a while. Chlorine is less stable and does not have as good a kill rate compared to chloramines but as stated it does react with organic compounds in nature to form really bad chemicals so the water department say's they do not use it anymore but I have heard that occasionally they still slip it into the system. It is really a surface issue and not as much with wells if the organic levels are low enough.
Me personally, would rather see it go away forever. There is so many other problems associated with drinking water than sanitation thats more serious.
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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 06:34 AM
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The pH swings you see may be because they sometimes buffer the pH up in the supply to protect pipes from acidic corrosion.
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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 10:35 AM
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I've read that Chlorine reacts with organic (inorganic too?) matter and creates what is called disinfection by-products (DPB). Trihalomethanes (THM, chloroform) is one of those DPB and scientist believe even low levels of THM, cause cancer. Chloramine also creates THM, but from what I have read, 1/3rd the amount that Chlorine creates, but the point is, the cancer causing THM is still present. In regards to cancer, I guess Chloramine is the safer alternative over Chlorine. I have only research Chlorine/Chloramine's and their relation with cancer, I am not aware of their chemical reactions with other metals/minerals and so I can't say which is safer in our water supply in regards other than it's cancer causing risks.

Heh, what doesn't cause cancer!? And all those people thinking others are crazy for being "paranoid"/cautious about everything. Hard to trust anything nowadays.

Not to mention the other stuff found in our water that is harmful.

Activated carbon/charcoal can remove chlorine (not chloramine unless you use a catalytic Granular Activated Carbon), although I am not sure if it would remove the already present THM (I need to look that up).
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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 02:05 PM
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As always, it is still safer to drink beer than water. Now just to acclimatise my fish to beer.

I often shake my head at the damage done to our rivers by local communities. If the power grid had to fail tomorrow, we wouldn't even be able to drink from the streams...
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post #26 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 02:34 PM
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I find that the decision on which to use is often done by people who are trained to make those decisions. In most cases they know what is in the raw water from the source and some of those items they need to study are what they start with, what their piping, pumps and storage involve as well as the expense. Once the supplier goes to the tremendous expense of adding chloramine equipment, they normal continue to use it. But that does not mean they don't also use chlorine when it is better suited. Chlorine burnouts are one that we may hear about as those are cases where the supplier may post notices before the burn.
How water treatment is handled is not a federal decision to be fought from a state's right positon. There are federal regulations, passed to states, passed on down to local groups. In this process, there is a good deal of flexibility for adapting the rules to fit the local situation. And at times, as we've seen in the Flint, Michigan case, the decisions are made for the wrong reasons and people suffer.
When politics, religion, or economics become more important that scientific and medical information, we may all suffer. When this posting changed from a posting about useful information and became a rant that is not based in science, we also lost an opportunity to learn more about our water.
I'm done with this waste of time.
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post #27 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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I think the decision on whether to use chloramines or not is most often based on how far the water has to travel through the distribution system to get to the end user and how long it is in the system. If the chlorine won't last long enough they have to switch to something else. Hopefully these decisions are based with public safety being the main concern.
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post #28 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertsp View Post
Do you mean all households have a carbon filter installed to remove whatever "preservatives" the utility needs to add? I don't think it would make sense for the utility to carbon filter at the plant, but then not add anything to prevent contamination on the way to customers.


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No, it is centralized at the water treatment plant. Chlorine is still used. But we can f ilter chlorine out of our drinking water.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr125 View Post
I think the decision on whether to use chloramines or not is most often based on how far the water has to travel through the distribution system to get to the end user and how long it is in the system. If the chlorine won't last long enough they have to switch to something else. Hopefully these decisions are based with public safety being the main concern.
Indeed. It is mandated by Public Health agencies to have backup of chloramine. In the case of water fouling, chloramine is better than chlorine because it doesn't off gas, so it will sterilize water better than anything else.

Last edited by AWolf; 01-31-2016 at 04:52 PM. Reason: edit
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post #29 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has a website that discusses Chloramine in drinking water: Disinfection with Chlorine & Chloramine | Water Treatment | Public Water Systems | Drinking Water | Healthy Water | CDC

I can see no reason to disbelieve what they say there.
It does present well. However, the Gov't has been widely criticized for their poor assessment and reporting on the matter. Let's not forget how many gov't reports have been found to be lacking in relevant knowledge.
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post #30 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-31-2016, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by AWolf View Post
It does present well. However, the Gov't has been widely criticized for their poor assessment and reporting on the matter. Let's not forget how many gov't reports have been found to be lacking in relevant knowledge.
Yes, the "government" makes mistakes. But, the CDC is not the "government". It is an independent agency funded by the government, and made up of scientists and research medical doctors. Also, never forget that the reason for using chlorine in tap water is to prevent the very serious diseases that untreated water can spread, including typhoid, cholera, and many other bacterial diseases. Anything that makes the disinfectant properties of chlorine last longer, and require using less chlorine, is very likely good.

However, this is a planted tank forum, so unless we are discussing the effect of chlorine or chloramine on fish/plants, and how to remove or neutralize it, we are really abusing the forum.

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