Water Disinfectant Precautions

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Chloramines require precautions for dialysis patients and aquarium fish

In 2002, Englewood’s Utilities Department switched from chlorine to chloramines as the primary disinfectant in the city’s water system. Chloramines are a combination of chlorine and ammonia, and have been shown to be effective in maintaining improved taste and quality in water.

Chloramine Precautions
Chloramines can be harmful when they go directly into the bloodstream. As a result, dialysis patients must take special precautions if they are using a home dialysis machine. Chloramines can also affect fish in an aquarium, and fish owners should take measures to remove chloramines from the water in their aquariums.

The good news is, it is relatively easy to remove chloramines from the water.

Removing Chloramines
Chloramines can be removed by adding ascorbic acid to the water or by using granular activated carbon treatment. Dialysis patients should check with their physicians and their home dialysis service companies to determine the appropriate type of water treatment. Fish owners can use a granulated activated carbon filter or a dechloramination agent, available from many local pet stores, to remove chloramines.

Why use Chloramines?
The Utilities Department switched to chloramines because they last longer in the distribution system, they lack taste and odor, and they help deliver water with the lowest possible levels of disinfection by-products. Utilities staff worked closely with the local hospitals and pet stores before implementing the change.

Frequently Asked Questions about Chloramines