If you use home water filters, it’s essential to know about chloramine removal And, more so, how it works to ensure safe water in your home. Many homes in America have their water provided by a public water supply. And these public water supplies feed from lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and other water bodies.
A Short History Of Chloramines & Chlorine
You might not know chloramines keep public drinking water safe, but it comes with a cost. Unfortunately, they can produce nasty side effects. For example, you can experience eye irritation and bloodshot eyes after your shower. Additionally, often you’ll notice a sharp chemical taste in your drinking water as well.
However, when chlorine first appeared in our water, it sparked a process called oxidation. In 1908, chlorine became widely used as a disinfectant in the US, and with its inception in Jersey City. Moreover, both of these chemicals can cause a string of unwanted side effects. In addition, they can aggravate skin conditions and ruin the taste of our drinking water.
Shockingly, they can even degrade rubbers and corrode metal pipes. So, while we need these chemicals to keep our water safe and clean, we should remove them once they work their magic. In other words, there’s no reason to leave them in the water once they’ve served their purpose. They purify water and kill living microorganisms (bacteria, cysts, and viruses).
How Chloramine Works
Additionally, these sources become highly contaminated with microorganisms. Microorganisms cause severe health complications like gastrointestinal disturbances skin irritation and affect almost all our body organs. Therefore, the water authorities treat water for the public supply before sending it down to our homes. Two disinfectants used to treat water are chlorine and chloramine.
Chloramine is more stable in water than chlorine. Therefore, it stays in it for a more extended period (chlorine is volatile, and most times, it quickly evaporates from the water supply before the water reaches your home).
To emphasize: Chloramine is not a more powerful disinfectant than chlorine. But it can continuously inactivate microorganisms since it’s more stable. In addition, its long-lasting nature means that only a tiny amount works to purify water in treatment facilities.
The downside to of its stability is that it eventually finds its way into our drinking water. And having chloramine in water opens the gate for many health problems. Below, we’ll define some of the ways that excess chloramine affects us.
How Does This Chemical Affect Us?
Despite being a disinfectant that works well, chloramine should not be in our home water. Here, you can see some of these effects when we have it in our water at home:
Poor health condition: Chloramine affects the skin and causes eye irritation. Using water high in chloramine will cause skin rashes, itching, and eye redness. In addition, it worsens existing skin conditions like eczema or acne and prolongs healing time. Chloramine can also lead to more severe health complications like respiratory disorders and digestive problems.
Foul taste and odor: Chloramine causes water to have a nasty taste and lousy aroma. If your water has a metallic taste and a harsh bleach-like smell (similar to pool water), then there’s a high chance that you have it in your water. Therefore, drinking or using chloramine-filled water is unpleasant and unhealthy.
Destroys rubber: Chloramine affects the rubber parts of sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, and plumbing fixtures. When chloramine-filled water comes in contact with the rubber components of these household items, it weakens and destroys them. As a result, the rubber components wear and, with time, they start to leak.
Corrosion of metal pipes: Chloramine corrodes metal pipes, affecting water quality. Corroded metal pipes may leak lead and copper into the water and cause poisoning.
What Can You Do About Chloramine In Your Drinking Water?
High levels of chloramine in water are never suitable for any home. The good thing is you can solve this problem using the best water filter. If you suspect high levels in your water, take a water test to confirm your suspicions. If the test confirms the presence of it, then your following line of action is to invest in a water filter that removes this chemical.
Catalytic Activated Carbon Filters
When looking for a chloramine filter, catalytically activated carbon filters are good to start. They are special media filters that effectively remove chloramine from a water supply. Chloramine filters have a unique structure that allows them to bind to chloramine and remove it this way. Additionally, it contains ammonia and chlorine.
And catalytic carbon filters separate the ammonia and chlorine components. Chloramine then breaks down into harmless substances. Catalytically activated carbon filters work very fast and effectively. So they do a better job than regular activated carbon filters.
Side note: Regular activated carbon filters can also remove chloramine don’t feature a catalyzed system. And they work very slowly and require lots of carbon to remove chloramine. Catalytic activated carbon filters work best as whole house water filters; that way, you can have chloramine-free water at every outlet in your home.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse osmosis systems also remove chloramine from water. RO filters have a semipermeable membrane and work under high pressure. As water passes through the filter, the high-pressure forces out the chloramine, leaving clean water behind.
Ultraviolet filters are a good choice for chloramine removal. And this is because they break chloramine down into easily removable byproducts. However, UV filters work best as a pre-filter for reverse osmosis water filter systems. More so, the reverse osmosis membrane removes the byproducts as the UV filters break down chloramine.
Public water supplies are not always completely safe, and we should make moves to protect ourselves and vulnerable members of our household from water-related illnesses. Water filters can provide us with clean and safe water. It’s advisable to get one for your home if your water quality is lackluster.
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