Because I’ve been on this chloramine in our water kick for sometime I’ve met lots of people who also don’t like the chloramine one of my friend sent me a link to a PDF that tells you how you can remove the chloramine from your water supply and it turns out to be an easy one. Here’s the link: Removing Chloramine
I’ll give you a brief synopsis in case you’re lazy. For drinking water slicing up a citric fruit such as lemon, lime or orange and dropping it into your water will neutralize the chloramine. I have an even better way and no, I’m not sponsored by this company, but I’d love to be. Drop one shot of Torani fruit syrup into a glass then add 16 oz or so of cold water. I prefer the pomegranate or blood orange, but experiment. Torani contains citric acid [which removes the chloramine] as well as natural flavorings and no high fructose corn syrup to get you fat. When you add club soda you get San Francisco’s famed Italian sodas like you can find in North Beach.
If you want to fix your bath water you just drop 1 gram [1000 mg] of vitamin C into the water it will also neutralize the chloramine. The PDF does mention that there are some shower head filters that contain Vitamin C and it has the links to them, but also mentions that the manufactures might be overstating how long before you need to change the cartridge.
7 Replies to “Water, water everywhere and now you can drink it!”
Sorry to burst your bubble, but citrus lowers the pH of chloraminated water, and pH is important to assuring you don’t have unwanted chemical reactions. The Vermont Champlain Water District’s manager told me that the SF Health Dept. was recommending people use citrus fruit, so they did some bench tests at the CWD’s Vermont and found it lowers the pH.
What does “neutralize” mean, anyway? A Vermont DEC staffer explained that the Vitamin C reacts to return to chlorine and ammonia ions, but they are not stable, so you can have some ammonia in the water. Lots of people who have tried Vitamin C shower filter find it may work for a little while, but it’s no solution. If you’re getting skin rashes, having breathing problems, or get stomach problems, you’re not alone, and Vitamin C is no answer.
You are correct citric acids lower the pH mildly. I won’t turn pH 7 to pH 1, but they might lower the pH by -.5 at best. Lowering the pH and freeing the ammonia as ion means that they will react with a acidic ion and form a salt. The salts are stable and reduce out of the water. A perfect example of this is mixing hydrochloric acid [HCL] with sodium hydroxide [NaOH] you will get salt water because the H of the HCL binds with the OH of the NaOH and forms water while the remaining NaCl combine to form table salt.
I agree that the Vitamin C filters may not work well for showers and said that in the posting, but adding ascorbic acid to your bath water will lower the pH very slightly, but also will neutralize the chloramine because it breaks down the chloramine and binds with the released chlorine and ammonia to create inert [meaning harmless] salts.
Trust me. I know my chemistry. 🙂
Lots of people have been trying the so-called “solution” to chloramine by using Vitamin C and for those people who are sensitive, it doesn’t work.
Site your sources that it doesn’t work or else I’ll have to pull out my chemistry again.
My organization is working with citizens in Vermont and other states where people are suffering health problems after their water districts switched from chlorine to chloramine. http://www.vce.org/chloramine.html. It’s a tough subject because EPA allowed chloramine to be used in drinking water without doing health studies first. Now that people are getting sick, they go to doctors and doctors have no studies to refer to so they can’t make a clinical diagnosis. Anecdotal evidence is persuasive, however, in numerous communities throughout the country. People get skin rashes or diarrhea or breathing problems, they go away and get better, they come back, they get worse. Many people in Vermont and California have tried the Vitamin C solution and for some people it works for a while, for others it doesn’t work at all. The state of Vermont’s DEC conducted tests of the Vitamin C shower filters and found that they worked (according to the testing they did) for about 2 months, but then stopped working. As the DEC staffer explained to us, the vitamin C (not just in shower filters but also put in water as you suggest) neutralizes the chloramine but it’s not in a steady state where it’s ionized, it is not that simple, and goes back and forth between ionized form and the more harmful ammonia molecule. I’m not a chemist so I can’t articulate it exactly correctly, but I heard the presentation and understood that the Vitamin C does not simply change the chloramine into harmless molecules. EPA and health officials have been in the denial mode, but Vermont legislators are taking the issue very seriously, as they should. The health effects are very serious for some people, there is clearly something going on, and it needs to be addressed. Many people in San Francisco and in the one district in Vermont that uses chloramine no longer use their tap water in their homes except for flushing their toilets.
While I agree that there are some people who are very sensitive to chloramine, your argument that Vitamin C doesn’t work is incorrect. As you stated it works for awhile then stops working. That is because they need to change the filter. Just as a Brita water filter won’t last a lifetime neither with a Vitamin C filter.
You are also correct sort of that it neutralizes the chloramine, but not in a steady state. What that means is that the ammonia is in an ionized or “free radical” state and gasses out of the water. This could be where the problem is for some people who are hypersensitive to ammonia takes place. In a bathtub situation though make the water extra hot when you add the ascorbic acid and let your bathroom fan suck the ammonia out while the bathwater cools to a suitable temperature.
While what I wrote isn’t a cure all for everyone it will help more people than if you didn’t use it at all.
Yes, but for the people who are sensitive to ammonia, making the water very hot and gassing it out could exacerbate their symptoms. When I say it doesn’t work for some people, I mean that for some people it doesn’t work at all, even during the two months that the state folks found it theoretically works. One thing that helps people who are unable to afford bottled water or filters is to take much colder showers. Heat is not the friend of the people here, because of the aerosolization of the chemicals. And because chloramine is more corrosive, many water systems are adding zinc orthophosphate, some are adding sodium or potassium hydroxide for pH adjustment. You end up with a lot of complex chemistry when chloramine is used, and nobody has a clue what it is that is causing all the health problems, except that chloramine is at the root of it. Chlorine can be cheaply and easily filtered. Chloramine is a huge problem, one that is not solved by Vitamin C.
Comments are closed.