What is Crescenta Valley Water District Doing?
In order to continue serving high-quality safe drinking water, CVWD plans to use either chlorine or chloramine, depending on the sources of water supply available to the District. The ability to use either disinfectant improves treatment flexibility and water supply reliability.
Chloramine disinfection may begin in some areas of the District as early as October 2018.
What is chloramination?
This process uses chloramines to treat drinking water. Chloramines are a group of chemical compounds that contain both chlorine and ammonia. The specific chloramine used to disinfect drinking water supplies is called monochloramine. These monochloramines are mixed into the water at a level that kills germs but is still safe to drink.
Why is the district making this change?
Crescenta Valley Water District currently uses chlorine to disinfect drinking water. When chlorine interacts with elements found naturally in the water, such as leaves and soil, it creates byproducts known as total trihalomethanes, or TTHMs. Rising levels of organic compounds in the water supply also result in rising levels of these byproducts. Since chloramines create fewer TTHMs, this ensures CVWD will continue to meet state and federal limits on levels of these byproducts in the water supply.
When will the District switch to using chloramine?
Chloramine addition will begin on or after October 1, 2018.
Is chloramine safe?
Yes. Water containing chloramine is safe for everyone, including children and pregnant women, for drinking, bathing, cooking and all other everyday uses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, studies show that using or drinking water with small amounts of chloramine does not cause harmful health effects.
Do other water districts use chloramine?
Chloramine has been used safely throughout the United States for decades. Most of Southern California drinking water has been treated with chloramine since the mid-1980s. Some of the many cities in Southern California using chloramine include: Los Angeles, Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena. Other areas across the country using chloramine include Dallas, Denver, Houston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and Boston. Chloramine is a drinking water disinfectant that has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State of California.
I have kidney disease. Can I continue to drink water that contains chloramines?
Yes. It is safe for you to drink water with chloramines. However, you should take steps to ensure any dialysis machines have the proper filters to remove chloramines. Some machines may only remove chlorine from the water, posing potential risks to patients. Anyone with concerns about water used in their dialysis treatment should consult their doctor.
What do kidney dialysis patients and providers need to know?
Similar to chlorine, chloramine can harm kidney dialysis patients during the dialysis process if they are not removed before entering the bloodstream. Chloramine combines with red blood cells and prevents them from carrying oxygen. Removal of chloramine before the dialysis process is typically achieved by using a special filtration system, specifically designed to remove chloramine. You should consult your dialysis system provider and/or operator on this question.
Is it safe to wash open wounds with water containing chloramines?
Yes, water containing chloramine is safe to use on cuts and wounds. However, if you have any concerns, you should contact your physician about this question.
Will water containing chloramine interact with my medication?
There are no known interactions between chloramine in drinking water and any kind of medication. However, please contact your physician for additional guidance on this issue.
Can people with kidney ailments, low sodium diets, or diabetes use water with chloramine?
Yes, these individuals can use water containing chloramine for all purposes. However, as described above, if you are receiving kidney dialysis treatment, the chloramine must be removed from the water used in the dialysis machine.
Can water that’s been treated with chloramines be used in aquariums and for amphibians?
Yes, but it will need to be filtered properly. Similar to chlorine, chloramines can pose issues for fish, turtles and other aquatic creatures. Chloramine should be removed from water before it is added to a fish bowl, aquarium or pond and owners should ensure the filters they use are rated for both chlorine and chloramine removal.
Why is chloramine harmful to fish, reptiles, and amphibians?
Like chlorine, chloramine is harmful to all animals that breathe through their gills, including fresh- and saltwater fish, amphibians, and reptiles. For humans and other animals, when water that contains chloramine is consumed, the chloramine is destroyed by the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream. But because aquatic animals breathe through gills, chloramine enters directly from the water into their bloodstream and that is harmful.
What precautions should fish shops, hobbyists, and aquaculture businesses take?
Chloramine must be neutralized or removed from the water that is used in fish tanks, ponds, and aquariums. This must be done for chlorine too. However, unlike chlorine, chloramine does not dissipate as quickly from water. That is why a treatment system currently being used to remove chlorine may not be enough to remove chloramine. Individuals should talk to a pet store and get the right additives or filter system to remove chloramine from the water. Chloramine also contains low levels of ammonia. Individuals should talk to a pet store to determine if their aquatic animals are sensitive to ammonia, and then get the right additives or equipment to remove the ammonia from the water. Boiling water, adding salt or using reverse osmosis are not effective for removing chloramine.
Is water with chloramines safe for dogs, cats and other pets?
Yes. Chloraminated water is safe for animals other than fish and amphibians to drink, and for all other general uses.
Will chloramines change the taste or smell of my water?
No. In fact, utilities that use chloramines often experience fewer taste and odor complaints than those using chlorination.
Can chloramine be inhaled or absorbed through the skin when showering or bathing?
Chloramine will not volatilize to any significant extent in a shower or bath and therefore will not be inhaled. There is no evidence that chloramine is absorbed through the skin.
Does chloramine cause a rash?
There is no medical evidence that chloramine can cause a skin rash. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency believes that water treated with chloramine is safe to drink and that there is no association with skin rash. However, if someone is concerned about a rash or other medical condition, they should consult their physician.
Is water treated with chloramine safe for people being treated for a medical condition?
Water containing chloramine is safe to drink. People concerned about a specific medical condition should consult their physician.
Does chloramine affect plants?
No. Plants, vegetables, and fruit and nut trees are not affected by chloramine-treated water.
Will chloramine affect swimming pools?
No. You should continue treating your pool the same way you do now. If you have any additional questions, you should contact your pool supply store for more details.
Can I remove chloramines by letting tap water sit for a few days?
No. Unlike chlorine, chloramines will not dissipate from tap water. While fine for humans and pets, tap water must be filtered or treated to remove any chloramines before being used for fish, amphibians and other aquatic creatures.
Will chloramine affect my appliances?
Chloramine should have no effect on the performance of home appliances. However, certain older, natural rubber products used in household appliances such as toilet flapper valves and hot water heater plastic dip tubes may deteriorate faster in the presence of chloramine than with chlorine. Replacing these parts with newer, synthetic materials available in plumbing and hardware stores should eliminate this issue. Most plumbing appliances sold today use this newer material.