Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Which Filter is Best For Removing Chloramines?

I am looking for a filter to remove chlorine and chloramines for our home. We have an aquarium and my fish are sensitive to our water now.  Our local city water department has recently started to use chloramines.   We have 2 bathrooms, 3 kids, 5 people totally in our home. 

Susan L.

Hello Susan,

Chloramines are disinfectants used to treat drinking water. Chloramines are most commonly formed when the water utility adds ammonia and chlorine when treating drinking water.
The typical purpose of chloramines is to provide longer-lasting water treatment as the water moves through pipes to consumers. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than one in five Americans uses drinking water treated with chloramines. Water that contains chloramines and meets EPA regulatory standards is safe to use for drinking, cooking, bathing and other household uses.

To remove chloramines throughout the home, a special type of catalytic carbon filter is used.  A small tank of carbon containing 1 – 3 cubic feet of carbon is used, as filter cartridges are too small to be very effective for whole house water purification.

The carbon filter can be backwashing or non-backwashing, though bacteria growth is far less common in backwashing filters, as is the development of foul tastes and odors.  One of the best carbon filter media to use is a catalytic carbon called AquaSorb MX.  AquaSorb MX removes chlorine and chloramines and is similar to Centaur Carbon, another type of catalytic carbon media.

Note that backwashing does not remove chlorine or chloramines from the carbon - rather, it cleans the carbon of sediment and rust from pipes.  It also stirs up the carbon media and reclassifies the media bed so it can continue to work effectively.

There are also upflow carbon filters available that do not backwash, but for most applications the backwash type works better, as it tends to keep media cleaner and fresher.
Flow diagram of a typical carbon filter installation (click to enlarge)
Thanks, Susan, for contacting us.  Let us know how your chlorine and chloramine filtration goes!