Did you know water companies in the UK have started to add chloramine to some water supplies?

Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia and cannot be removed by boiling, distilling or standing uncovered.

Our new AquaMetix® Carbon filter, which is easy to install, has been designed to reduce chloramine, chlorine, lead, other heavy metals, chemicals and fluoride in a single stage drinking water filter. The unique technology of AquaMetix® is designed to fit the Imperial Single (or double) Undersink Water Units.

The changing way water companies on both sides of the Atlantic treat our water is a subject which has been highlighted by US environmental campaigner Erin Brockovich.

Brockovich, whose story was made into a film starring Julia Roberts, exposed the contamination of drinking water with another chemical, hexavalent chromium, in the southern Californian town of Hinkley. The case was settled for a record US $333 million.

On the subject of chloramine, Brockovich said: “The fact of the matter is chloramines are a terrible mistake. While utility companies often use chloramines as a matter of convenience, there are far safer alternatives.

“Disinfection by-products are created when the compounds used for disinfecting drinking water react with natural organic matter, bromide, or iodide.

“Research shows that the by-products are highly toxic to mammalian cells like ours, and they’re known to affect cells’ genetic material, which can cause mutation or cancer. In studies, some of these by-products, such as iodoacetic acid, have been shown to cause developmental abnormalities in mouse embryos.

“Other by-products of chloramine use include the highly toxic human carcinogens hydrazine and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Hydrazine is the primary ingredient in rocket fuel and is extremely toxic at very low levels in drinking water.

“NDMA is also a chemical used in the manufacture of rocket fuels. Both chemicals are a result of the chloramine’s combination of ammonia and chlorine, a potentially deadly cocktail.”

How an AquaMetix® filter improves water quality

The AquaMetix® filter, which has been independently tested, will improve taste and odour and will absorb:

  • organic and inorganic substances - pesticides, herbicides and oestrogens
  • chlorine
  • chloramine
  • fluoride
  • VOC's and other chemicals

It will also reduce:

  • copper, glyphosate, mercury, nickel, silver, trihalomethanes and zinc

The AquaMetix® Filter is one of three filters which can be chosen for insertion into your Imperial undersink unit.

The 5 Micron Carbon Filter is a good basic filter which removes chlorine and organic compounds.

The Ultracarb Filter has a broad filter capacity which removes bacteria, chlorine, cysts, heavy metals, particles and trace organics.

What the water companies say

According to Thames Water: “Ammonia can be dosed into the water following final chlorination to form a longer lasting disinfectant.

“Ammonia reacts with chlorine to form chloramines, which decay at a slower rate compared to free chlorine. This can be useful if the water has to travel large distances to reach customer properties.”

You can check with your own water company if they are adding chloramine as part of their treatment process with their postcode checker and look at all the different elements added to your drinking water.

What is chloramine?

Chloramine is a mixture of chlorine and ammonia. While chlorine dissipates and evaporates into the air relatively quickly, chloramine is more stable and will last longer in the water system.

Therefore, chloramine vapors can accumulate in enclosed spaces such as shower cubicles or small bathrooms.

A Belgian study revealed an increase in asthma due to exposure to chloramine in indoor swimming pool areas. It may also aggravate skin conditions such as; eczema, psoriasis and cause flare-ups for people with sensitive skin.

How to check your water quality

Water quality is variable throughout the UK - but it is wise to investigate what elements are added to your drinking water.

You can see if chloramine is now being added as part of the treatment process by using a postcode checker on your water company’s website.

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Source: Protection or Poison? Chloramination of Drinking Water by Erin Brockovich, October 2010

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