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What is the Best Way to Remove Chloramines from Your Water?

by Mark Timmons January 25, 2015 16 Comments

First of all, before you decide to remove chloramine, you need to understand what chloramine is. Chloramines are formed when a municipality adds a mixture of chlorine and approximately 20% ammonia to the water supply. Many municipalities are changing to chloramine from chlorine because the chloramine is more stable as it does not evaporate like chlorine, even if it is a weaker disinfectant. Additionally, chlorine produces disinfection byproducts (DBPs) known as trihalomethanes (THM's) which are VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) that are highly carcinogenic. Many people erroneously believe that chloramine has fewer disinfection byproducts, however new studies show that iodoacetic acid is a chloramine DBP that could be even more insidious than THM's. Chloramines also are linked to increased lead and copper corrosion which can result in elevated levels of lead and cooper in water to which chloramine has been added. Additionally, when combined with fluoride, the corrosion level increases. It is also a fact that chloramine degenerates rubber and other parts in plumbing systems, ice makers, washers, dishwasher, toilets and sink faucets, to name but a few. Additionally, ingestion is not the primary route of exposure to chloramine. Inhalation and dermal contact are likely the prime routes of exposure to chloramine. This would mean that if you truly want to remove or reduce chloramine, you would have to do it for the whole house and not just the drinking water. By the time, the chloramine in the water reaches your home, it has accomplished it's job as a disinfectant, and if you really want high quality water and are concerned with the health risks associated with chloramine exposure, you will certainly want to consider how best to reduce it. Notice, I didn't say "remove" it? There reasons I said "reduce" and not "remove" is that it's probably impossible to remove all of the chloramine and it's associated compounds. However you can substantially reduce it with proper treatment. If someone says they can remove it all, you might want to run as fast as you can.

Cartridge Filter

Cartridge Filter

Before we discuss what "proper treatment" is, we are going to list some other websites where you can read about chloramine:

Filter Vessel

Filter Vessel

That should give you a couple of days of reading... if you so desire. Google "chloramine" and you will get about 512,000 more results. By the way, did you know that chloramine kills fish? It's a fact!

OK, let's get into what is the best way to remove... actually "substantially reduce," chloramine. The method is called "Prolonged Contact Catalytic Granular Activated Carbon Filtration" with the emphasis on "prolonged contact." There are a couple of ways to use the Catalytic Carbon - (1) is in a Cartridge Filter such as one to the right; and (2) a pressure vessel with carbon inside it (pictured on the left). The problem is that a cartridge filter that is 4.5" x 20" will flow a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute (GPM). A pressure vessel that is 13" x 54" in diameter will flow 13 GPM but will remove the greatest amount of chloramine at below 10 GPM. The slower you can run the water through the catalytic carbon, the better you will remove the chloramine. If you are really concerned about chloramine, then you might want to use two tanks to prolong that contact and increase the removal ability. If you just want to remove chloramine from just your drinking water, you may want to use a 4.5" x 20" Cartridge Filter at a sink where you only flow 1.5 GPM. That's also good for removing chloramine for the fish, but it does nothing to remove the chloramine in the shower or bath and of course, it doesn't protect the plumbing an appliances. A Backwashing Catalytic Carbon Filter like the US Water Matrixx Backwashing Filter is usually the choice for a whole house. Frequently, chloramine exists in conjunction with fluoride which also has many deleterious effects. I have discussed the effects of fluoride in a previous BLOG. So, if you want to reduce BOTH chloramine and fluoride, then you would need something like our US Water Ultimate System. Finally, if you really are serious about removing chlorine, chloramine, fluoride and a host of other chemicals from the water then you could follow up the Fusion Ultimate Superfilter with a Whole-House Reverse Osmosis System. Photo credit - Chloramine Info Center

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May 16, 2018 fred burmeister

My client produces high volume hydrogen peroxide based products for professional hair color, known as “developers.” Recently he has experienced stability problems with his most concentrated formulations and on further investigation found that his water supply region has switched to chloramine from chlorine for disinfection. This is the only difference noted since the stability issue popped up. What are your recommendations for commercial grade chloramine reduction on a process that uses approximately 600 gallons of water per day?

June 18, 2018 S

Honestly I do not trust at all “water experts”. Not one bit. I worked years ago for a very well known manufacturer of whole house reverse osmosis systems. I saw them sell the systems for $4,500 – $5,000 dollars when it actually cost them a grand total of $400 to make!

And what do we have here listed above a recommendation for a whole house system at guess what $4500.00 Nothing changes. Same old BS.

There you have it. For once you have been told the truth.

June 24, 2018 Mark Timmons

Just because you worked for some scam artist does not mean that everyone is a scam artist. If a whole house RO system could be built for $400 and sold for $5,000, everyone would be doing it. I respectfully submit that you have no clue what you are talking about.

October 09, 2018 x

Mark Timmons, you do not seem to know what you are talking about. S above is 100% correct. The well known company I worked for Rainsoft did sell their systems for about $4,500 and yes their actual cost was just over $400. So clearly you have no clue.

October 09, 2018 Mark Timmons

I know they sell some cheap stuff, but you are severely deluded to think we have margins anything close to that. Of course, I doubt that you want to be confused with facts, since your mind is already made up and you “know” you are right, regardless of any evidence otherwise. Let me break it down even more: You sir, are a Blowhard!

November 17, 2018 Sam

Terrific information, thank you very much.
I’m wondering if you can point me in the direction of a shower filter that reduces chloramine, pretty please. My skin and I beg you.

November 19, 2018 Mark Timmons

We use a system like this to substantally reduce chloramine and chlorine:

Our smallest one has 1 cu/ft of our mixed blend carbon, which weighs 27 pounds. A shower filter has a bout 8 ounces of carbon… or less.

Now you know why we do not sell shower filters. They are very ineffective.

November 27, 2018 chris harrell

Nothing removes total chlorines better than a carbon filter. Chlorine and derivatives of chlorines harm the filters in RO systems unless removed beforehand

November 29, 2018 Mark Timmons

But, it takes catalytic carbon to remove chloramine. I am not sure what point you are trying to make.

May 06, 2019 Terry Winiarski

Will the Nuvo H20 system remove the chloramines in my Phoenix, AZ home water supply?

May 20, 2019 Mark Timmons

In a word NO!

March 06, 2020 Neil

We live in a condo so we are tight on space. Our municipal water system uses chloramine. Is there a whole house filter that is relatively small in size?

March 07, 2020 Mark Timmons

Here is a very good and economical solution: It takes up 9” of floor space. Will that work?

December 11, 2020 Jim Nevens

Hi. Trying to work out a water system for a fresh water aquarium with municipal water containing chloramines. I want to retain the minerals (TDS?) but remove the chloramines (both the chlorine and the ammonia). That eliminates RODI as a solution. And I’d prefer not to use chemical additives (e.g., Seachem Prime) unless necessary.

The treated water will drip into the aquarium at a very slow rate (perhaps 5 gallons per day). My preliminary thoughts were to use a bank of standard 10” canisters containing a couple of sediment filters followed by several carbon blocks. But I the more I read, the less confident I am that this would be an effective solution.

Saw that you offer carbon blocks that can be used for this purpose and would appreciate your thoughts on a solution as well as any available data on your carbon block’s effectiveness.


December 13, 2020 Mark Timmons

I guess it depends how serious you are about this project. If you are only using 5 to 10 gallons a day, then carbon block filters are the way to go, but for the greatest success, you should start with sediment “step-down” filtration followed by GAC carbon and Special Chloramine Removal Blocks. I would build in redundancy on the carbon. Here’s what I would suggest for the Ultimate System: Two of these: They have “Double-O-Ring Positive Seal Cartridges” so that 100% of the water passes through the filters. With “flat top” filters you do get some “bypass.” System 1 Filters: 1. 2. 3. 4. System 2 Filters: #1 and #2: #3 and #4: System 1 filters should likely last a year. I would plan on replacing them yearly. On System 2, the first two filters should last a long time, but the #3 filter will need to be changed after around 2,500 gallons. When you change it, put the #4 filter in the #3 position and the new filter in the #4 position. That is the ultimate system, but I have found that successful reef keeping involves prolonged contact and redundancy. You could just use 1 System, with the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. #3 and #4: You will just have to be sure and change the filters BEFORE they need to be replaced. I would put gauges on the inlet and the out of either system: Let us know if you have further questions.

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