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Chlorine, Chloramine and Sodium Thiosulfate (was Re: Dechlorinator)

Hi all,

The recent thread is a bit behind the curve. Sodium thiosulfate *will*
bind up the chlorine, but when they start giving you chloramine, expect
a big ammonia spike if you do use just hypo o/e. [It's "when" not "if,"

Last year, EPA required that chloramine be added to any water service
with over 500,000 customers. They are working their way down in size,
right now, and our area will get it in East Bay MUD this month, and
Alameda water dept. will be adding it by now or Jan. at the latest.

Near the end of the last drought, tens of thousands of aquarium fish
were killed up along the SF peninsula. Nobody mentioned that
Hetch-Hetchy water was run through the Santa Clara Valley reservoirs to
settle turbulence. San Jose served more than 500,000, so they *had* to
add chloramine before sending the water up to Crystal Spring. SF had no
problem, but Palo Alto and points nearby really took a hit. No one
tested for chloramine because they "knew" they didn't have any!

For those with quite a lot of water use, get two carbon filters and hook
them so the water goes through one and then the other. Put a tap
between, and test for chlorine/chloramine weekly (or what your use
dictates) at that tap. As soon as chlorine starts to "punch through,"
discard the first filter and replace with the second -- virtually unused
one. Add a new filter in location 2.

Otherwise, just use Amquel o/e to neutralize both chlorine and ammonia.

How serious is the problem? Not much if you have soft, acid water.
Unfortunately lead/copper hysteria has caused them to add lime to our
water, pushing the pH up way over 8. [EPA is ramrodding this idiocy
nationwide, too] At that level, most of the ammonia/ammonium equilibrium
is shifted way toward the toxic ammonia. It *will* kill fish. I just
shocked a friend in Palo Alto, by pointing out that his killy water was
testing at a pH of over 9!

Summarizing, if you do big water changes with high pH and they are
adding enough chloramine to kill cholera, etc., expect to have a *lot*
of mysterious deaths. Amquel or carbon filtering can help you avoid the


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntley at ix_netcom.com
"Quantum electrodynamics (QED): the dreams stuff is made of."