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Chloramine is not chlorine (was Re: [Killietalk] Drip emiters vs. valves)


Sorry if I sound like a cracked record, here, but we do *not* have chlorine in our water, in the vast bulk of the US!

George & Melanie wrote:
I am sure water quality varies per local,

Not as much as it used to, before EPA mandated that some ammonium be added to the chlorine to form the more-stable chloramine in almost all community water supplies. It's a simple, cheap change that reduces cancer. [Unfortunately it has other effects on fish.]

but when you are talking of a partial water change I am not sure how critiacal it is to have 100 percent of the chlorine removed.

IMHO, it is far more important to have no *chloramine*, as it has proven to cause severe reproductive problems in killifish at sub-lethal dose levels. [IDK that chlorine ever did that.]

If you live in a area that has such a high concentration of chlorine in your water mild aeration may help in the chlorine removal.

Most unlikely, any more, George. Test, before and after. If the chlorine reading was reduced, you don't have chloramine. If not, you do. You need to run this test every single time, because EPA compliance is sometimes spotty, and local districts are notorious for not warning customers when they change over to chloramine (i.e., start to add a little bit of ammonium).

In all cases common sense prevails.

My point, exactly.


Wright Huntley wrote:


George & Melanie wrote:

Sounds like you need a water storage drum in your garage. You could fill that drum from your outside hose. Then let the water sit for a day or two. This will let the chlorine disapate ...

There is almost no place left in this country, where the chlorine will dissipate in a "day or two." The typical half-life, now that they have learned to add a bit of ammonium is much more like 5 weeks.

I don't mean to disparage your advice, but I feel it is dangerous to let anyone think we are still living in the era when chlorine (not chloramine) was the disinfectant of choice. Once they found that it caused carcinogenic compounds, there has been a strong campaign by EPA to convert *every* municipal water source to chloramine. It won't dissipate, and using hypo or other old-fashioned dechlor products will produce a deadly burst of ammonium/ammonia. If pH is above about 7.5 (also EPA mandated), look out!

You have to live in a mighty rural area to still have chlorine as the primary disinfectant. In my situation I have none, but one or two wells in the Bishop area still test high enough for bacteria that they do use it. [I'll be surprised if they get through this year without adding enough ammonium to form chloramine, tho.]

The best is to be aware and to test and read your water reports. The big problem is that lethal levels of ammonia are way below the minimum reading of the test kits we can afford. If in doubt, it is safest to assume that chloramine is present, and act accordingly.


Wright Huntley -- 760 872-3995 -- Rt. 001 Box K36, Bishop CA 93514

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