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No standard tap water filtration system can remove chloramine!

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mhatrw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 06:36 PM
Original message
No standard tap water filtration system can remove chloramine!
Edited on Fri Jul-07-06 07:03 PM by mhatrw
You can't filter it out using ordinary active carbon filtration systems. No, it doesn't taste bad like chlorine, but that doesn't make it any less toxic. If you live in a community that uses choramine for water treatment (more and more large urban communities have made the switch, including San Francisco), you cannot remove this contaminant through any process short of reverse osmosis. Setting it out doesn't work, nor does boiling it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloramine

Chloramine (monochloramine) is a toxic substance (NH2Cl) created by the chemical reaction of ammonia and sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) under alkaline conditions. It is a yellow liquid at room temperature. It is commonly used in low concentrations as a disinfectant in municipal water systems as an alternative to chlorination.

Chloramine use by water purification plants is increasing. Chlorine (sometimes referred to as Free Chlorine) is being phased out in favor of chloramine because chloramine is much more stable and doesn't dissipate from the water before it reaches consumers. There is also less tendency to form halomethanes such as chloroform and carbon tetrachloride in the presence of organic materials that would normally form the relatively harmless (at expected concentrations) hydrocarbon gas methane. Such compounds have been identified as carcinogens and in 1979 the EPA began regulating their levels in U.S. drinking water, with a current limit of 80 μg/L. Furthermore, water treated with chloramine lacks the distinct chlorine odor of the gaseous treatment and so has improved taste.


http://www.chloramine.org /

... Despite the lack of studies, many major water utilities in California and across the country are now using chloramine. Most have switched only recently. In addition to the SFPUC, other water utilities in California that have switched include East Bay Municipal Utilities District, Marin Municipal Water District, Contra Costa Water District, Alameda County Water District, Santa Clara Valley Water District, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The EPA projects that over 90% of water utilities nation-wide will be using it in the next few years.

More chloramine facts: http://www.chloramine.org/chloraminefacts.htm

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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Bottled Spring Water. Nothing else for me.
:popcorn: :popcorn:
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FloridaPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Have you checked it for contaminates? A lot of those bottled water
Edited on Fri Jul-07-06 06:51 PM by FloridaPat
is just tap water with a new label. I have well water, but it's undrinkable. We get distilled water, but I really don't trust anyone anymore.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Distilled water isn't a good idea, either
because it will reduce the amount of very necessary electrolytes in your blood.

Most stuff labeled spring water is in fact filtered tap water.

I wouldn't drink a vial of chloramine, but it seems to lack many of the deficits of chlorine gas and at the low concentration in drinking water will be less of a problem than the bacteria and viruses it kills would be.

Everything in life is a calculated risk. Nothing is completely safe. Sometimes "safer" is the best we can do.
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mhatrw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Chloramine can't be simply filtered out like chlorine can!
Edited on Fri Jul-07-06 07:14 PM by mhatrw
Try putting that tap water in your fish tank to see just how safe your "calculated risk" is.

My best friend is a water treatment engineer. She participated in the decision to change our community over from chlorine to chloramine. She understands the risks and rewards of this process as well as anyone. Yes, it's probably as good or better than chlorinated water for bathing and household cleaning purposes, all things considered. However, she now uses 5 gallon bottles of water processed through reverse osmosis for her family's drinking and cooking water. She used to have a simple Brita filter in her fridge when the water (which is of very high quality otherwise) was treated with chlorine.
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mhatrw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. It's important to find a brand you can trust.
If you don't know of one, look for water that is processed through reverse osmosis.
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
6. Neither can Tritium be filtered from the water. Read this thread I started
about Exelon leaking Tritium from their Nuclear Plant into Godley Illinois water. I bet everyone in Godley wishes they had been drinking bottled water, bathing in bottled water, cooking with bottled water and giving their pets bottled water. THIS will make you sick:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Ksec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
7. gee thanks man
Im a huge water drinker, and now Im going to be thinking about this chloramine.
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mhatrw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Sorry. I drink it as well.
I can't currently afford to buy drinking water processed through reverse osmosis -- which, IM cynical O, is the whole idea.

I can't help but wonder what the top 0.1% are drinking. Somehow I doubt that it has chloramine in it.

As an additional aside, I can't use my tap water make decent beer or wine anymore, either. Just setting it out awhile or boiling it used to do the trick when my tap water was disinfected with chlorine rather than chloramine. It's hard for me to believe that it kills fish and yeast, but it's A-OK for me.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. To remove chloramine from water to make beer...
Portland uses it too. :(

Dear Mr. Wizard,
I recently moved to a city that uses chloramine in the water supply. Looking for suggestions in removing these chloramines from my brewing water, I posted a question to an online brewing board. It was suggested that adding sodium metabisulfite to the water would clear the beer of this compound. Is this true? How does it work and what would be an approximate amount to add per gallon?
Alistair Scriven
Portland, Oregon

Mr. Wizard replies:This is an interesting question and I did some digging to come up with a good answer for you. Dechlorination is important to brewers for flavor reasons. Compounds called chlorophenols are formed when beer interacts with chlorine and these compounds have a fairy unpleasant aroma. Dechlori-nation is also important to municipal water authorities in the event that chlorinated water needs to be discharged into the environment.

Although many reducing agents can be used to dechlorinate water, the ones that are most accessible to homebrewers are sodium metabisulfite or its cousin, potassium metabisulfite (commonly found in the Campden tablets used by winemakers). These compounds will remove chlorine from both sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and chloramine treated waters. The reaction converts chlorine into chloride and the sulfite is converted to sulfate. Chloride has no affect on aroma, is found in most water and is added by many brewers in the form of calcium chloride. Likewise, sulfate is a normal constituent of water and is added in the form of calcium sulfate by brewers. When this reaction occurs with chloramines, there are also ammonium ions released into the water. Again, this is no big deal because ammonium ions are found in a brewers mash and come from the malt. Keep in mind, we are talking about very low concentrations of all of these reaction products due to the low concentrations of chlorine and metabisulfite involved in the reaction.

Although chlorinated water has a strong and easily identifiable aroma, the concentration of free chlorine is usually less than two parts per million. The dechlorination reaction requires 1.47 mg of sodium metabisulfite to reduce 1 mg of free chlorine. In practice, this ratio is increased twothree fold. In easy to use terms, a 1/2-ounce Campden tablet can be used to dechlorinate 20 gallons of water. This reaction occurs very rapidly and all you really need to do is dissolve the metabisulfite in your water, let it sit for a minute or two and you are finished with the dechlorination process.
Many brewers boil water prior to use to drive chlorine out of the water. The boiling method works very well with water chlorinated with hypochlorite, but is less effective at removing chloramine. The metabisulfite method is fast acting, easy to perform and
very effective.

http://byo.com/mrwizard/1260.html
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mhatrw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
9. Kick.
It's weird to me that a post telling people that drinking tap water is the only environmentally sound way to go gets 20+ recommendations, but a post warning people about a highly toxic chemical that kills fish and yeast and can't be filtered out that the EPA estimates will soon be used to disinfect 90% of the United States' tap water is basically ignored.

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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-08-06 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #9
20. I'm not ignoring it. My water company's website
Edited on Sat Jul-08-06 12:19 AM by LibDemAlways
states that it treats water with "chlorine and ammonia." Does that indicate chloramine?

The Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power spends many thousands each year on bottled water for its employees. If they don't trust what's flowing from the tap, neither do I.
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mhatrw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Yes, that means chloramine.
Both of these two chemicals are highly toxic, and when combined the resulting stability makes chloramine much more harmful than chlorine gas for anyone who was once able to filter out 99.9% of the chlorine out of drinking water with a simple, readily available activated carbon filter.
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
10. That Means We All Drink It
Thank you for the info. I don't appreciate being poisoned.
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don954 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
11. yep, and its a real problem with us Marine Reef Tank hobbyists
it cant be filtered, and even a RO system doesn't get all of it. It is toxic to invertebrates that we reefers try to grow, and it slows down aquaculture of many species, resulting in less supply of farmed corals. I have a 9 stage filter to remove most of the crap, and the last 4 (4 DI filters) are quickly consumed requiring more $ to run my reef tank. Ive had my water tested, i have just about everything in my tap water from phosphate, nitrate (from farm run-off) to lead.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
12. MTBE anyone?
from Tante Karenina's cyberkeller:

http://www.pei.org/FRD/60_Minutes_Transcript.htm

Kroft: In fact, the only study that has ever been conducted on ingesting MTBE was done on laboratory animals in Italy more than five years ago. It showed that in high doses, it caused leukemia, lymphoma and testicular cancer. But those results have been questioned by some scientists. The EPA's position is that MTBE is a possible human carcinogen.

Goldstein: How do you expose one hundred million people to a chemical which you have not adequately tested for its toxicity?

Kroft: And that's what's happened?

Goldstein: That's what's happened.
Kroft: Dr. Bernard Goldstein, the toxicologist, says the studies should have been done before the government allowed huge quantities of MTBE to be put in gasoline. He calls it a classic case of how not to protect the public.

Goldstein: This is a chemical that's in gasoline. If I wanted to be sure that I poisoned as many Americans as possible, I'd put something in gasoline. I mean, that's what we're all exposed to, with the exception of, I guess, a few hermits in the Mojave Desert, which means that you want to study this even more carefully than you'd study any other chemical.
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Sydnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
13. I have a reverse osmosis system under my kitchen sink
I have well water and goodness knows what the neighbors might be spilling. Expensive, but worth it I think.

They won't be happy until they either poison us or force us to mutate to adapt!
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
14. Chloramine APPROVED?!? Idiots!
Typical industry solution. Find out everything that works, more or less, then sell the cheapest solution, no matter what problems it has. When the problems turn out to be too great for continued use, switch to the 2nd cheapest, regardless of ... etc. etc.
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whitedove Donating Member (83 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
15. The Berkey filter
is the filter I am wanting to buy for my home and for my children's homes.
http://berkeywater.com /
I live in a rural area, I do not think that Chloramine is our city water. But, I am going to go to City hall on Monday and find out.
Thank you for pointing this important issue out.

Peace,
Lisa
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mhatrw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. The website makes no claims for removing chloramine.
This filter is quite nice, but I don't think it can remove chloramine either.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 10:12 PM
Response to Original message
16. i warn people here all the time about this. thank you!
they think i'm a tinfoiler. so i am silent and allow them to go their way.
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 10:34 PM
Response to Original message
17. don't know if our water co. uses it
However, since our water comes out of Clear Lake (CA), and has lots interesting lifeforms and chemicals in it, I doubt whether cloramine would make much difference. Right now, the EPA is working on mitigating a Super Fund site, Sulphur Bank Mine, which is located next to the lake. Never mind the man-caused and natural run-off of heavy metals from the hills. So much fun to live in an area with old mines...but that is most of the West.

We use a Brita filter for for our drinking water, just so the water doesn't smell/taste like a swimming pool. And late in the summer, if we have massive algae blooms in the lake, even with processing, the tap water can smell...unique.
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Liberal In Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-07-06 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
19. Just asking, honest... Does steam distillation remove it?
Because that's what we use. I know you can still distill chemicals. They can evaporate, condense, and end up back in the water.

Have any data on this?
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mhatrw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. According to my WTE friend, steam distillation should do the trick.
But just like reverse osmosis, nothing removes 100% of it. I'll ask what works better and why next time I talk to her.

My big problem is that we were far safer in San Francisco drinking filtered chlorinated water than we are drinking filtered or nonfiltered water treated with chloramine. So why are we using a more expensive solution that's also more poisonous to humans and especially the environment? I'd estimate that 80-90% of SF residents still filter their drinking water using Brita filters or the equivalent, even though now this process doesn't do anything to remove the most abundant and harmful treatment chemicals.

I'd also estimate that less than 5% of San Franciscans are even cursorily aware of this situation. They certainly are still filling Brita's coffers as if nothing had changed, and local government has done and is doing nothing to inform the populace of its highly questionable water treatment policy decision making.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
23. just had culligan here talking about our water and this issue 5 min ago
as a matter of fact. after all the stuff we are doing, softner, and reverse osmosis for drinking and cooking water, i asked, .... so tell me about amarillo water. how bad is it.

he says they do an excellent job cleaning it out and holding it to epa standards. they use a lot of chlorine.... i stop him and say, how good is chlorine for the body. and he stops, tells me, well they are by epa guideline. kinda like the epa guideline increasing our mercury too.....

not only are we paying for water to come into our home, now we have to pay for that very water to be further cleaned up to use

outrageous, and pisses me off.

but all those plastic bottle haters will be happy to know for a mere 75 a month, i wont have to buy those jugs anymore
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