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RE: Carbon Filters for Chorine/Chloramine...Yes!

As I've previously stated, I hate responding to someone who fails to
identify themselves, but a posting in the last Digest caught my eye - I
think that the information is incorrect, or at the very least incomplete, so
here goes nothing...

A list member with the e-mail address <boukmn at mindspring_com> (~Bk doesn't
really tell me anything) responded to a query concerning the dangers of
chlorine/chloramines in tap water and the possibility of removing these
chemicals via carbon filtration:

>I have been using these "HomeDepot" filters for the two years I have grown
>aquatic plants. How other listers afford to do their constant water changes
>using RO water is beyond me. The filter I got is a single $25 canister
>AMETEK Kleen-Plus model ctr-210 since it can be attached/removed from any
>faucet (plus $7-12 for the cartridge). I would forget the prefilter, unless
>your tap water often contains visible particulates and don't believe the
>6mth or 1000gal limit on these cartridges. Perhaps, they are not as
>efficient after 1000 gals (99% Chlorine/ Chloramine removal) I often abuse
>these filters to the tune of 2000-3000 gals w/o losing fish or plants.
>Figure a 70-80% Chloramine reduction is good enough.

First of all, I have to admit ignorance of just exactly what this particular
filter unit from Home Depot is supposed to do. Is it a Reverse Osmosis unit,
an Ion Exchange unit, or just an Activated Carbon filter designed to remove
taste, colour and odour from tap water to make it more palatable for human
consumption? Being as cheap as it seems to be ($25.00), I'd venture to guess
that it is the latter (Activated Carbon). These units can indeed remove
chlorine from tap water, along with colour, taste and odour.

However, the poster continues with:

> Caution: when these
>filters are brand new they remove everything from tap water creating a
>potentially dangerous electrolyte deprived environment, so when the
>cartridge is new, only do 10-30% partial changes.

If this is solely an Activated Carbon unit, this statement is NOT true. Only
R/O, Ion Exchange Columns, and/or Steam Distillers are capable of removing
so much of the mineral content from the water that you would have to resort
to the use of electrolyte replacement salts.

One further comment concerning the affordability of R/O water - you get what
you pay for and should only pay for what you need. The quality of the water
delivered by a $25.00 tap attachement is not very likely to be similar to
that produced by a TFC R/O membrane. But it is only of real concern if you
know or suspect that there are undesirable materials in your water supply.
R/O units have gone down in price and up in quality over the past few years
and maintenance costs are not much more than this poster is claiming for his
cheaper unit. Most people who have R/O units also use the water for cooking
and drinking, so it is not really as extravagant an option as some would
have you believe.

James Purchase