Chlorine or Chloramines?

Chlorine or Chloramines?

You might see some products on our website that are designated for chlorine and some for chloramines. What’s the difference and why are the products specific for each one? The answer lies in the difference between the two chemicals. Products on our site labeled “Wide Spectrum” are designed for use with chlorine treated municipal water, products labeled “Chloramine Wide Spectrum” are designed for use with water that is treated with Chloramine.

Chlorine is and has been the standard sanitizer for all municipal water treatment systems since the 1920s. In more recent times, however, chloramines have begun to see more frequent usage. Chloramines are a combination of chlorine AND ammonia and, as such, require different filtration for removal or reduction. It is first necessary to break the bond between the ammonia and chlorine so that each chemical can then be removed in its separate state. As no such bond exists with chlorine, it is an easier task to simply remove or reduce chlorine as a lone entity.

The reason that use of chloramines is on the increase is that chloramines have a longer shelf life than chlorine. This means they will last longer before dissipating. In municipalities in hot climates with long water-distribution systems, chlorine might evaporate before it reaches the last house on the line unless large amounts of chlorine are used at the treatment plant. This can run into considerable expense and expose those living close to the treatment plant to high levels of chlorine. To reduce the amount of chlorine needed, chloramines are substituted. Because chloramines last longer, less chlorine is required at the treatment plant while still being able to have a residual sanitizer in the distribution lines at the last house.

If you are unsure what your municipality uses, call your water treatment department and ask if they use only chlorine or if they create chloramines. Chloramine use is more prevalent in large cities in hot climates.

Don’t know if you have Chloramine, Fluoride, High Hardness, etc….? If you provide your zip code, We’ll check and see what your Municipal Water Treatment Facility is reporting. 

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