What are chloramines and what are they doing in our water supply?
Chloramines or monochloramines are formed by adding Ammonia to the drinking water supply, the ammonia reacts with the chlorine that is already in the drinking water and monochloramine is formed.
It is due to some of the reasons above that chloramines have been introduced to the water supply; the theory is that chloramine produces less THMs than chlorine. The benefits apart from less expense we are told is that we now produce less THMs (not conclusive) and we have a more stable way of preventing water becoming contaminated on the way to your house, great news for the water authorities not great news for the consumer.
More bad news is that traditional carbon filtration will not remove monochloramine or chloramines, it leaves the ammonia in the water. A specialised chloramine removal cartridge is required or a quality reverse osmosis system.
Another major issue with chloramines particularly when mixed with fluoride, is the leaching of lead from water pipes, there have been several high profile cases in Washington DC and North Carolina where elevated concentrations of lead were found after the introduction of chloramines, lead is a silent killer and our children are most at risk who consume a lot more water than adults based on their body mass.
The good news is that several top filtration manufacturers such as Pentek and Omnipure have added catalytic extruded carbon to their cartridges which will remove chloramines! The Omnipure OMB 934 ml/w chloramines cartridge removes lead and chloramines along with THMs and chlorine.
What this all means for you as a consumer of water and more particularly your children is that you might just want to think about either installing a water filter that is capable of removing chloramines and lead or if you already have a system replace your cartridges with one that is certified to remove chloramines and lead. Please do not be fooled by people trying to sell you inferior products ask for the specification sheet, you need to know what contaminants it removes from the water, how much of the contaminant it removes for example is it 60%, 95% and how long will it carry on being effective for 1000 Litres 2500 Litres? I hope you get the message insist on getting a specification sheet with your cartridge, if it doesn’t have one why not?