Earlier this year, Los Angeles began replacing the chlorine it had used for decades to disinfect its drinking water with chloramine. The reasoning behind the change is two-fold: first, chloramine is more effective as a disinfectant over longer distances; second, chloramine is less likely to be the culprit behind the creation of potentially harmful Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs.)
While its use is becoming more of a discussion point, chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, has actually been in use throughout several municipalities for decades. If you live in Denver, in fact, chloramine has been used to disinfect your drinking water since 1917.
That said, when more cities and municipalities begin changing how they disinfect their water – especially one of the largest municipalities such as Los Angeles – questions inevitably arise. For our customers, the question typically relates to whether or not chloramine is in their fridge water, or if chloramine is the cause of a funny taste or odor.
For our customers and readers alike, see answers to some of the more common chloramine questions our FridgeFilters.com team receives:
Will My Fridge Filter Reduce Chloramine?
The most popular fridge filters used by our customers make up a significant percentage of those used by hundreds of refrigerator models in use today. In no particular order, these filters are the Maytag UKF8001, the Whirlpool 4396710, 4396841 and 4396508, and the Frigidaire WF2CB.
All of the filters above help to significantly improve the taste and quality of water served by your fridge by reducing everything from chlorine odor to lead. But neither are able to state that they effectively reduce chloramine. The reason has to do with surface area. The unique make-up of chloramine that allows it to retain greater disinfection power over time and distance also make it remarkably difficult to filter with a standard carbon or charcoal filter that offers a rather small amount of filtration surface area.
Is There Chloramine In My Water, And If So, Is It An Issue?
The answer as to whether or not chloramine is used as a disinfectant in your city’s drinking water is a definite ‘maybe.’ If your municipality makes the switch, it is required to ensure that you are informed. If your city has long used chloramine, information will be found on its website or by calling a representative.
Whether or not chloramine is causing an issue comes down primarily to aesthetics. Much like chlorine, chloramine will cause an unpleasant taste and odor, similar to a swimming pool. But at safe levels (ie below the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 4 milligrams per liter, per the EPA) any negative health effects are extremely unlikely. Those that do need to be wary of chloramine, such as kidney dialysis patients or keepers of aquatic pets, will face the same health issues as they would with widely used chlorine.
My Water Has Chloramine In It & I Can’t Stand The Taste. What Do I Do?
Our first recommendation is to ensure that what you are tasting is chloramine and not chlorine. The reason is that chlorine is rather simple and affordable to reduce. Filters needed to reduce chloramine are typically far more expensive.
At FridgeFilters.com, some of the products we offer that can be of help include our selection of reverse osmosis filters and some of our whole house system housings, when loaded with the right type of filter.
Reverse osmosis filtration products, found here and pictured above, help reduce chloramines through the use of multiple carbon filters that pass water more slowly than other types of systems. This allows for far greater impurity reduction. On our site, we offer several types of reverse osmosis membranes and filter sets that fit into systems from Aqua-Pure to GE.
A select number of our whole house filtration system housings, including the affordable Culligan HD-950, can help to ensure your water is virtually free of chloramine if loaded with a filter with more surface area (oftentimes, you’ll see these filters listed as ‘catalytic.’)
If you are considering a reverse osmosis or whole house system to reduce chloramine, our customer service team can help ensure you find the right system, filter or housing for your needs. You are invited to call with any questions at 1-800-683-8353. You may also call our team if you have any additional questions on how to reduce chloramine or any other impurity or contaminant from the water served by your fridge or by any other tap in your home.
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