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Re: Dechlorinators

My local utility board is testing a new method of disinfecting our water supply. In the past, the chemical of choice was straight chlorine (no chloramine). I rarely ever have to use a dechlorinator when I do water changes (no ill effects yet). In addition to the chlorine, they are going to start adding chlorine dioxide to the treatment process. Since I am not chemistry inclined, is this something I should be concerned about? Here is a link to the information about our new proposed water treatment process: http://www.kub.org/120375/Home/press_releases/aug2801.pdf


Shawn Shofner
sshofner at graffiti_net
msshofner at pstcc_cc.tn.us

> Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 10:20:21 -0400
> From: "James Purchase" <jppurchase at Home_com>
> Subject: Re: Dechlorinators
> I was hoping that one of the list "chemists" might have chimed in on this,
> but maybe they missed it.... so here goes nothing....
> "Just to mess you up, I do 30-60% water changes very regularly with no
> dechlorinator, and I *never* lose fish/plants."
> I'd say that you are lucky. But Lady Luck is a fickle gal.....she can leave
> you for someone else with no advance warning.
> "I was under the assumption that chlorine gas is a very volatile substance
> when dissolved in water. Any turbulence will send it out of the solution,
> right?"
> True.....to a point.
> Water utilities have two main options for treating water that they put into
> the distribution network for delivery to your tap. At the water treatment
> plant, they usually use Chlorine as a disinfectant during the treatment
> process. Sometimes, they give the water an extra shot of Chlorine just
> before they send it out. This is to keep it safe to drink as it travels from
> the plant to your home. Sometimes they add Ammonia to it. Chlorine + Ammonia
> = Chloramine. Chlorine treated water is usually safe for fish after it sits
> exposed to the atmosphere for 24 hours, as the Chlorine will just escape
> into the air. Turbulence helps. Chloramine isn't as accommodating, and can
> remain detectable in water for several weeks. That's why the water utilities
> use it in the first place - it provides a long term solution to water
> disinfection. Water treated with Chloramine can travel through miles of old
> pipe on its way from the treatment plant to your home and remain safe to
> drink. The only way you can know how your water is treated is to contact the
> water utility and ask.
> To complicate matters, different water utilities will quite often change the
> amount of Chlorine and/or Chloramine they put in the water, depending upon
> the time of year. There might not be much in the water in January, but don't
> bet on it in July or August.
> Chlorine can be removed either by allowing the water to sit for a day or by
> using sodium thiosulphate (photographer's hypo). If you try this with
> Chloramine treated water, you will break the Chlorine - Ammonia bond and be
> left with water which contains Ammonia. Some dechlorinators are formulated
> to deal with this Ammonia and so are safe to use with Chloramine treated
> water. I use Seachem Prime on my water, but I'm sure that there are other
> products - just read the label and make sure that it says it will deal with
> Chloramines as well as Chlorine.
> While lots of people claim to get away without using anything, they are
> either just lucky, as John Wheeler, or live in an area where there isn't
> much of anything added to the municipal water. Making general
> recommendations based on local conditions isn't very wise - my water and
> your water are different, and what I have to do you might not find
> necessary. Again, contact your local utility to find out what might be
> appropriate for where you live.
> "Dechlorinators" and "Water Conditioners" are really 2 different things,
> although many companies produce products which do both. Dechlorinators ONLY
> deal with the Chlorine (or Chlorine-Ammonia). Water Conditioners can remove
> heavy metals, add stuff claimed to help slime coat production, etc., etc...
> If you want that stuff, fine, if you don't, why add it? Does anyone really
> think that any fish, any where, at any time, ever naturally came in contact
> with the juice of the Aloe Vera plant? Yet, companies add it to their "Water
> Conditioners" and people buy it. It might actually do you more good if you
> spread it on your skin and rubbed it in rather than putting into a fish
> tank. I don't think that it will hurt your fish, but I don't think that its
> necessary - its just a marketing gimmick.
> James Purchase
> Toronto


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