Q: Can chlorine and chloramine be removed by boiling?
A: Boiling the water for 20 minutes will remove chloramine and ammonia. SFPUC does not
recommend for customers to boil water for such long periods of time because it is not necessary
from a public health perspective and poses risk of scalding. However, such tests demonstrate
that chloramine is not a persistent chemical, which does not remain in the water after cooking.
Additionally, many foods and drinks rapidly neutralize chloramine without the necessity of boiling
(e.g., tea, coffee, chicken stock, orange juice, etc.).
Q: Can charcoal filters remove chloramine?
A: Charcoal or granular activated carbon (GAC) filter can reduce chloramine concentrations of 1
to 2 mg/L to less than 0.1 mg/L. The GAC filter may be followed by a reverse osmosis (RO) filter
to remove the carbon fines. RO should not be used alone as chloramine will pass through the
membrane and may damage the RO membrane elements (some RO units are resistant to
chlorine and chloramine). A GAC filter will remove chloramine, allowing RO to effectively remove
Q: Can Vitamin C be used to remove chlorine and chloramine for bathing purposes?
A: Exposures via respiration do not occur from use of chloraminated drinking water. Based on
personal preference, some individuals may choose to reduce exposure to chlorine or chloramine.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has recently been included in AWWA Standard (AWWA, 2005b) as one
of the methods for dechlorination of disinfected water mains. SFPUC and other utilities have used
Vitamin C for dechlorination prior to environmental discharges of chlorinated and chloraminated
water. Since ascorbic acid is weakly acidic, the pH of water may decrease slightly (Tikkanen et
al., 2001). Ascorbic acid has been used for a long time as one of the dechlorinating agents for
preservation of chlorinated or chloraminated water samples for laboratory analysis.
The removal of chloramine is not necessary from a public health perspective; however, some
customers may choose to remove either chlorine or chloramine for bathing purposes. There are
no NSF International certified point of use devices utilizing Vitamin C; however SFPUC
determined that 1000 mg of Vitamin C (tablets purchased in a grocery store, crushed and mixed
in with the bath water) remove chloramine completely in a medium size bathtub without
significantly depressing pH. Shower attachments containing Vitamin C can be purchased on the
Internet, as well as effervescent Vitamin C bath tablets. The 1000 mg effervescent Vitamin C
tablets dissolved readily without residue but may depress pH more than regular Vitamin C tablets
purchased in grocery stores. Some shower attachments with Vitamin C marketed on the Internet
are effective in removing chloramine; however, the claims posted on the Internet as to their
replacement frequency appear to overestimate the duration when the shower attachment is
effective. There are reports of the benefits of Vitamin C for skin care (Griffith, 1998) and various
cosmetics are available in stores that contain Vitamin C. SFPUC does not recommend for
customers to use Vitamin C for bathing purposes and anyone desiring to do that should consult
with their physician.
Q: What are other simple methods to remove chloramine for drinking water purposes?
A: The removal of chloramine is not necessary from a public health perspective; however, some
customers may choose to remove chloramine for aesthetic reasons. Placing a few slices of fruit
(e.g., orange, lime, lemon, mango, strawberries) or vegetable (cucumber) in a water pitcher will
effectively dechlorinate the water within a few hours. A peeled and sliced medium size orange
can be used for a 1-gal water pitcher and will completely dechlorinate the water in 30 minutes.
The fruit can then be removed from the water. The water pH will become closer to neutral or
acidic (if lime or lemon is used). The ammonia will not be removed but most of the fruits
contribute some or more ammonia than the drinking water.
Preparing a cup of tea (black, green, caffeinated, decaffeinated, and herbal) also removes
chloramine, as does coffee prepared in a common coffee maker.
Amy Arnett wrote:Hi Fabio (...)
s. lowe wrote:My understanding is that the reason that Chloromine (aka Monochloromine aka NH2Cl) in water treatment is that it serves a similar antibiotic role as chlorine but is more stable, which is to say less volatile, which is to say less effective but more persistent. When I first encountered it I concluded that reverse osmosis or distillation were the only way to get rid of it. Today, I think that using a flowform or some of the 'water structuring' devices you could circulate water and degrade the chloramines. I think that in general any kind of robust oxygenation of the water will speed the degradation of the chloramine, yoiu may need to innoculate several times or aerate the water intensly and then start your innoculation