Chloramine Information

With your water supplied by the Southwest Pipeline Project (SWPP), your tap water is treated with chloramines rather than free chlorine. This process ensures the water system remains protected from waterborne diseases. Southwest Water Authority (SWA) and the SWPP place a strong emphasis on your health and environmental issues concerning quality water delivered to residents of southwest North Dakota. Nothing is more important to us than your drinking water.

What are Chloramines?

  • Chloramines provide longer chlorine residual in water systems and provide for reduction in disinfection by-products
  • Chloramines are a combination of chlorine and ammonia used to disinfect against potentially harmful bacteria and viruses in water
  • pH levels are not increased; pool water is not affected and plants are not harmed

How can Chloramines affect me?

Chloramines are more stable than chlorine. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that neither poses health concerns to humans at the levels used for drinking water disinfection. The introduction of chloramines in a water system may cause issues for a person on kidney dialysis. Fish and other aquatic life maintained in tanks, including bait shop facilities, need to be aware of the change to avoid disruption.

Dialysis Patients

During dialysis, large amounts of water are used to clean waste products from a patient’s blood. Dialysis centers treat the water to remove all chemical disinfectants, including chlorine and chloramines, before the water can be used for dialysis.

  • Home dialysis users should consult the machine manufacturer for instructions on how to properly treat their water before use
  • Service companies can usually make needed modifications
  • Please always check with your physician and medical center

Effects on Fish

Chlorine and chloramines are toxic to fish, other aquatic animals, reptiles and amphibians. These types of animals absorb water directly into the blood stream. Please remember to use water which has been treated for chloramines. The small amount of chloramines added to the water will not affect other animals such as mammals and birds and can be used regularly for watering and bathing animals.

  • Unlike chlorine, chloramines cannot be removed by allowing the water to stand a few days
  • Products, including drops, used to remove chloramines are available at aquarium supply stores
  • An activated carbon filter designed for use with chloramines is effective

Further Information

Questions about kidney dialysis should be directed to your physician or medical center. If you have questions concerning the care of your fish and pets, contact your pet store or veterinarian. More information on chlorine and chloramines can be found by clicking here.