Home » Water Quality » Contaminants » How to Remove Chloramine from Water (5 Effective Methods)

How to Remove Chloramine from Water (5 Effective Methods)

Scott Winfield
Written by Scott Winfield
Last Updated on

Have you ever noticed a strange smell or taste in your tap water? That’s likely due to chloramine, a chemical commonly used by water authorities to disinfect water.

While it helps keep your water safe from germs, excessive amounts can irritate your eyes and skin, lead to stomach discomfort, and ruin the taste of your drinking water.

If you’re concerned about the quality of your tap water or you own a private well, you might be looking for ways to remove this pesky compound.

How to Remove Chloramine from Water (5 Effective Methods)

The most effective way to remove chloramine from drinking water is through catalytic carbon filtration, which reduces chloramine by up to 99%. Reverse osmosis and other water filtration systems are also great options for reducing chloramine by over 90%.

Our goal is to help you understand these options so you can choose the best one for your needs.

Top 5 Filters For Chloramines
SpringWell CF1 Whole House Water Filter System
Whole House Filter for Chloramines
  • Filtration technology: KDF & catalytic carbon
  • Filter type: Whole house filter
  • Chloramines reduction rate: Minimum of 99%
  • Contaminants removed: Most water contaminants
  • Flow rate: 9 – 17 GPM (1 to 7 bathrooms)
  • NSF 42 certification: Not certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Kind Water Systemswatersystems Whole House Water Filter
Cartridge-Based Water Filter for Chloramines
  • Filtration technology: High-performance catalytic-activated carbon block technology
  • Filter type: Cartridge-based whole house filter
  • Chloramine reduction rate: Unspecified
  • Contaminants removed: Unspecified
  • Flow rate: 15 GPM (1 to 6 bathrooms)
  • NSF 42 certification: Not certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
AquaTru Reverse Osmosis System
RO System for Chloramines
  • Filtration technology: Activated carbon + reverse osmosis
  • Filter type: Countertop reverse osmosis system
  • Chloramine reduction rate: Minimum of 95%
  • Contaminants removed: 82
  • Filtered water capacity: One gallon
  • NSF 53 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: One year
Under-the-Sink Water Filter for Chloramines
  • Filtration technology: Clearly Filtered 3-stage filtration tech
  • Filter type: Under-the-sink system
  • Chloramine reduction rate: Minimum of 95.3%
  • Contaminants removed: 232+
  • Filtration capacity: 2,000 gallons for each filter (lasting roughly a year)
  • NSF 42 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
Water Pitcher for Chloramines
  • Filtration technology: Affinity Filtration
  • Filter type: Water pitcher
  • Chloramine reduction rate: Minimum of 99.7%
  • Contaminants removed: 365+
  • Filtration capacity: 100 gallons for each filter (lasting roughly four months)
  • NSF 42 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime

1. Remove Chloramines with Catalytic Carbon Filtration

Catalytic Carbon Filtration

Catalytic carbon filtration is one of the most effective ways to remove chloramine from your water. This method uses a special type of activated carbon that’s been treated at high temperatures to enhance its surface structure. The result is catalytic carbon, which can break down chloramine into its harmless components, unlike regular activated carbon.

When water passes through catalytic carbon, it dismantles chloramine into chlorine and ammonia, making both safe. Besides handling chloramine, catalytic carbon also reduces the levels of hydrogen sulfide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

This filtration process is straightforward and highly efficient, making it a great choice for anyone looking to improve the quality of their tap water.

2. Remove Chloramine with Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Reverse Osmosis
Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis (RO) is another great method for removing chloramine from water. This process uses multiple carbon pre-filters to eliminate contaminants as small as 0.001 micrometers. During RO, water passes through a semipermeable membrane, effectively filtering out chloramine along with other impurities.

Chloramine is a stable compound, making it tricky to break down. Thankfully, the carbon filters in an RO system extend the contact time with water, ensuring a thorough breakdown of chloramine. This prolonged contact is key to the system’s success in removing chloramine completely.

If you’re considering an RO system, popular options like the Waterdrop G3 800 or the Aquatru RO system can efficiently handle chloramine removal. These systems not only ensure safe drinking water but also improve its taste and overall quality. Reverse osmosis might take a bit longer, but it’s highly effective for ensuring your water is clean and free from chloramine.

3. Remove Chloramines with Ultrafiltration

Ultrafiltration

Ultrafiltration is yet another efficient method to get rid of chloramine in your water. This technique uses a hollow fiber membrane to trap contaminants commonly found in tap water, including chloramine. The combination of ultrafiltration and carbon filters provides double protection, removing contaminants as small as 0.025 microns.

While ultrafiltration can remove up to 95% of chloramine, the remaining 5% typically falls below the acceptable levels set by the EPA (4 mg/L). This means the water is still safe to drink and use at home.

Ultrafiltration not only removes chloramine but also improves the overall safety and quality of your water by removing a wide range of impurities.

4. Remove Chloramines with Activated Carbon Filters

Activated Carbon Filter
Activated Carbon

Activated carbon filtration is a good alternative to reverse osmosis since it removes chemicals like chlorine and chloramine from your water while leaving healthy minerals intact.

However, some argue that while activated carbon is great for removing chlorine, it might not be as effective for chloramine. That’s because ammonia, a component of chloramine, is highly stable and requires prolonged contact with the filters to break down. Standard activated carbon filters may not provide this extended contact time, leaving ammonia in the water.

For a more effective solution, consider using catalytic carbon instead of standard activated carbon. Catalytic carbon can handle both chlorine and ammonia, making it a safer and more effective choice for removing chloramine from your water.

5. Use Dechlorinating Chemical Products to Remove Chloramines

Chemical Dechlorinating Products

If you’re looking for a quick fix, dechlorinating chemical products can be a suitable option. These products are typically one-off solutions that convert chlorine into a harmless form using chemicals like sodium thiosulphate.

When shopping for a dechlorinating chemical, make sure it specifies that it treats chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia. Some products only break down chlorine, leaving ammonia untouched, which isn’t safe for consumption.

However, it’s important to note that these products aren’t designed for continuous use as water flows from your tap. They work best for stagnant water, like in aquariums, where you can treat a specific amount of water at once. So, this might not be the most feasible option for removing chloramine from drinking water.

What is Chloramine and Why It Should Be Removed?

Chloramine is a chemical compound formed when ammonia and chlorine react together. Water supply companies commonly use chloramine to disinfect water because it provides longer-lasting protection than chlorine alone. While chloramine helps keep water free from harmful germs, it doesn’t come without drawbacks.

Even though chloramine-treated water that meets EPA regulatory standards is considered safe for human consumption, high levels of over 4 milligrams per liter (4 mg/L) can cause various health issues.

These include:

  • Changes in blood lead levels
  • Eye and nose irritation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin itches and rashes
  • Swollen or red eyes

For people with certain health conditions, such as those undergoing kidney dialysis, drinking chloramine-contaminated water can be catastrophic. It can contaminate dialysis fluid, enter the bloodstream, and alter hemoglobin, which can be life-threatening.

Given these potential risks, it’s important to monitor and manage chloramine levels in your water.

Identifying the Source of Chloramine in Your Water

Step 1: Identify the Source

The first step in addressing chloramine in your water is figuring out where it’s coming from. If you get your water from a municipal supply, it’s likely treated with chloramine. Public water supply companies have been using chloramine as a secondary disinfectant since the 1930s to prevent bacterial growth and other harmful contaminants.

To confirm this, you can simply call your local water company and ask if they use chloramine in their water treatment process.

Step 2: Test Chloramine Levels in Water

Next, test the chloramine levels in your water. While there isn’t an EPA-approved method specifically for measuring chloramine, you can measure free chlorine and total/combined chlorine.

Free chlorine is the amount of chlorine that hasn’t been combined with contaminants. On the other hand, total chlorine is a combination of free chlorine and chloramine since it also counts the chlorine molecules that have interacted with ammonia.

So, to determine the chloramine levels in your water, subtract the free chlorine measurement from the total chlorine measurement. To get accurate results, use EPA-approved test kits.

Step 3: Choose an Effective Treatment Method

Once you’ve identified the source and tested your water, you can choose the best method to remove chloramine based on your budget and the severity of the problem. The main options, which we overviewed above, include:

  • Catalytic carbon filtration
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Ultrafiltration
  • Activated carbon filtration
  • Dechlorinating chemical products

Frequently Asked Questions

How does chloramine get into water?

Most water supply companies use chloramines to disinfect water because it provides longer-lasting protection than chlorine. Chloramine is produced by combining chlorine and ammonia, forming three different compounds; monochloramine, dichloramine, and trichloramine.

What are the most common signs of chloramine in water?

The most common signs of chloramine in water are a foul odor and metallic taste. These are clear indicators that your water might be contaminated with chloramine.

What are the acceptable levels of chloramine in water?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the acceptable level of chloramine in drinking water is up to 4 parts per million (ppm) or 4 milligrams per liter (mg/L). Water at this level is considered safe for human consumption.

How much does it cost to remove chloramine from water?

The cost of removing chloramine depends on the treatment method you choose. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Activated carbon filters: $50 to $500, plus the cost of replacing filter cartridges annually
Catalytic carbon filters: Around $1,000 on average
Ultrafiltration systems: $150 to $200, with frequent membrane replacements adding to the long-term cost
Reverse osmosis systems: $500 to $8,000 for whole-house systems, though more affordable options are available for those mainly concerned with chloramine
Dechlorinating products: $50 to $100

What is the cheapest way to remove chloramine from water?

The cheapest way to remove chloramine from water is by using a dechlorinating product. Be sure to choose a 3-in-1 dechlorinating product that treats ammonia, chloramine, and chlorine.

Sign Up for Weekly Water Quality News & Advice

Join our 1 Million+ strong water defense community and get updated on the latest product news & gear reviews.

We HATE spam. Your e-mail will never sold or shared!

Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
2 Comments
  1. It’s useful to know we’d get our water tested for chloramine levels. My aunt moved to another house last week, but she says that her water has an odd smell and metallic-like taste, so I’ll call her right now to suggest she reads your information. I appreciate your intake on identifying and removing chloramine from our water.

Leave a Reply