ChloraminesChloramines, which are disinfectant compounds made from the combination of chlorine and ammonia, are being used more and more by water utilities across the country. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, in fact, is moving toward a total conversion from chlorine to chloramines in the next year. Chloramines are preferred because they last longer in the water, making them more effective at eliminating biological and organic contaminants, but that leaves an important question for the end user: how can one remove chloramines from the water we drink and bathe in?

One option available for reduction of chloramines is something that many people already use. Activated carbon is a very common substance used to filter water at both the point-of-use (think faucet-mount carbon filters or pitcher filters), and the point-of-entry (most commonly a carbon filter tank designed to filter your entire house). Several years ago, activated carbon alone would have been considered effective for filtering water, since chlorine has been the go-to disinfectant of choice for most water utilities for nearly a century, but with the recent shift in the water utility industry to more persistent and less-detectable (by taste, at least) chloramines, regular activated carbon is not as effective as it used to be. The main reason is that, although activated carbon is excellent at reducing the presence of chlorine, which makes up part of the structure of chloramines, you’d have to have a much larger amount of carbon to reduce chloramines, as much as 5-6 cubic feet. Also, chloramines are an oxidizing substance, and when they encounter activated carbon, they can degrade the structure of the carbon itself, releasing micro-particles of carbon into the drinking water, which does not make for a satisfying glass of water.

Fortunately, the water treatment industry has an effective alternative to standard activated carbon for removal of chloramines. Catalytic carbon, also known as “surface-modified” carbon, is activated carbon that has been uniquely modified to reduce the presence of chloramines. Part of this is due to catalytic carbon’s ability to induce chemisorption, which means that when chloramines encounter catalytic carbon, a special reaction enables the chloramines to bond chemically to the surface of the carbon. According to Reskem, “specialized ‘catalytic’ products are superior to standard grades [of activated carbon] offering almost twice the monochloramine removal capacity.”

Another option for removal of chloramines is the use of a reverse osmosis purification unit, either at a point-of-use, like a kitchen sink, or at a point of entry, before the water enters the house through the water main. Reverse osmosis is considered very good at chloramine reduction because of its multiple carbon filters and its deliberate processing speed, ensuring significant reduction of contaminants. A reliable whole-house purification unit (for example, a Puroserve HT 2000 whole-house RO system), with an included catalytic carbon tank would be an excellent solution for protecting your entire home from chloramines, as well as many other common drinking water contaminants like chlorine, lead, etc.

Chloramines are one in a long line of substances that are added to our precious drinking water, whether intentionally or unintentionally, without our specific approval or even our knowledge. But with the available effective solutions to issues like the presence of chloramine in your drinking water, you can easily regain control of what you and your family bathe in and drink. And control equals peace of mind!

To schedule a free consultation with a Rayne Water Systems water treatment professional on how easy it is to improve the quality of your water, and for a free, basic, no obligation water test, visit or call toll-free: 800.594.3300