Impurities in Tap Water

What is Chlorination?

Chlorination is the process of adding the element chlorine to water as a method of water treatment to make it safe from illness producing bacteria, viruses and parasites. Chlorine, in various forms, is the most widely used chemical for water treatment, being both economical and highly effective for bacteria and algae control. Water which has been treated with chlorine is effective in preventing the spread of waterborne disease. Chlorine disinfection technology has almost completely eliminated from our lives the risks of waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, and dysentery.

What is Chloramines and Trihalomethanes?

Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM) are a byproduct of chlorinating water that contains natural organics. These organics derived from decaying plant materials. According to John Capece, Ph.D.,a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency survey discovered that trihalomethanes are present in virtually all chlorinated water supplies. Chloramines are the result of ammoniating chlorine applied to drinking water to reduce production of trihalomethanes. Chloramine exists as three different forms or species: monochloramine (NH2Cl), dichloramine (NHCl2) and trichloramine (NCl3). They are chemically related and are easily converted into each other; thus, they are more appropriately called chloramines.The three species of chloramine constantly and rapidly shift from one form to another. The species that predominates is dependent on pH, temperature, turbulence, and the chlorine to ammonia ratio.

Does traditional water filters remove fluoride?

Traces of flouride might be removed but the water filters are not designed to remove fluoride. Some fluoride is naturally present in tap water, whilst some water companies add fluoride to the water. If you are concerned about the presence of fluoride in your tap water, you should check with your water supplier. In Singapore, flouride is added to the water.

What are the possible health risks from byproducts ( Triholamethanes and Chloramines ) of the disinfection process?

Chloramines are all respiratory irritants with trichloramine being the most toxic (order of toxicity: monochloramine < dichloramine < trichloramine-most severe.) Persons with liver or kidney disease and those with hereditary urea cycle disorders are at increased risk for ammonia toxicity from the consumption of chloraminated water. Chloramine vapors and its disinfection byproducts can accumulate in indoor air and concentrate in an enclosed area such as a shower stall, small bathroom, kitchen, or apartment. Chloraminated vapor from showers, baths, hot tubs, dishwashers, and other household appliances contains volatilized chemicals that can be inhaled and cause irritation to the respiratory tract. The toxic exposure to chemicals (like chloramine) in water is greater from taking a shower than from drinking the same water. Chloramine does not dissipate easily compared to chlorine. Chloramine stays in the water distribution system longer than chlorine. Chloramine is difficult to remove. Chloramine cannot be removed by boiling, distilling, or by standing uncovered. Both trihalomethanes and chloramines are possible causes of cancer and heart disease and therefore considered carcinogens.