Simple Guide to Chloramine Filters & Chloramine In Drinking Water

The Chloramine Molecular Structure For most people, chloramine is not an everyday term. Yet despite that, it is present in a huge amount of drinking water across the globe. You have probably heard of chloramine’s much more familiar cousin, chlorine. Chloramine is actually a combination of chlorine and ammonia into a single molecule. Like chlorine, it is used to disinfect water for all purposes – including drinking. Chloramine filters have proven desirable in the face of chloramination of water, as chloramine filtration is necessary for certain applications such as filling aquariums, home-brewing beer, and dialysis. Recently, a growing trend has cropped up among concerned citizens looking to remove chloramine from their drinking supply to get the cleanest water possible before it enters their bodies.
Despite the fact that many people are unfamiliar with it, chloramine and its presence in the water supply is nothing new. In the United States, chloramine was used as early as 1929 according to the Center for Disease Control. Although regarded as safe for consumption at regulated levels, there are many who express concerns with the health impacts of chloramine and the byproducts of its use in drinking water. Chloramine can also be particularly difficult to filter, as many filters simply break down the bond between the chlorine and ammonia, filtering the chlorine but leaving ammonia behind.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the hazards which opponents of chloramine point to, as well as the debate over its safety. Then we’ll have a look at a few filters which can remove chloramine from your water supply.

Are There Negative Health Effects From Chloramine In Drinking Water? And Is Chloramine Removal Necessary?

According to water authorities and regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, chloramine is safe at regulated levels for human consumption, and by all appearances, has a long and successful history of safe usage. However, the story does not end there. Criticism of chloramine have suggested chloramine plays a role in a variety of conditions, including skin problems, kidney issues, gastric concerns, and even cancers.

However, scientific evidence supporting these claims seems scant. Yet this lack of sufficient information and scientific scrutiny is a problem which plagues people on both sides of the chloramine debate. A San Francisco based group known as the Citizens Concerned About Chloramine run the website where they provide a lot of information which seems to suggest that there is plenty of reason to be concerned about chloramine.


The site contains a lot of claims, but seems rather scant on sources. At the same time, a major complaint from Citizens Concerned About Chloramine is the lack of studies on chloramine at all. A few source are provided on the site in favor of the Citizens’ claims, such as this study from the Journal of Gastroentology which potentially links chloramine consumption to stomach cancer in rats. One thing that is certainly agreeable from their complaints is that more studies need to be done on anything which we are putting into the water supply at large.

In response to an article entitled “Some Residents Worry about Chloramine’s Usage and Safety” by author Dr. Joe Mercola, the website Skeptoid Media gave a pretty good rebuttal to many of the claims of the anti-chloramine camp. However, in the end, we are left with a lot of unanswered questions, and the clear need for more research.

Removing Chloramine From Drinking Water: A Tricky Business


Regardless of how safe chloramine maybe to ingest, there are many people who simply don’t want to be drinking any disinfectants in their water at all. Just as removing chlorine has proven to be a popular demand, getting rid of chloramine is equally desirable. There are some who simply want to have as clean, chemical-free and unadulterated water as possible. For them, removing chloramine is an absolute must.

But it turns out that chloramine is tricky to remove. Chloramine itself is easy to break down, however once broken down, the chloramine molecule seperates into chlorine and ammonia. Chlorine can easily be removed through a carbon-block or similar fine sediment filter, but ammonia is more difficult to tackle and requires reverse osmosis or deionization in order to remove properly.

If you are looking for complete removal of the adulterant from your water, this makes things tricky. However, if you are looking to remove chloramine for home brewing beer or filling your aquarium, this breakdown of the chloramine molecule and filtering of chlorine is sufficient. For those who want to kick the ammonia out too, things will be a bit more complicated (and expensive.)

Let’s take a look at some options available on the market to get the job done.

Pentek ChlorPlus 1-Micron Carbon Block Filter Cartridge (~$20 on
Pentek Chloramine Filter

This filter cartridge from Pentek does not remove the ammonia from chloramine treated water, but it does break  down chloramine into its constituent parts and filter out the chlorine. Probably one of the cheapest routes to getting the chloramine out of your water, the Pentek cartridge fits into standard home water filter cartridge systems and should be an easy install. A great option for those mostly worried about the chlorine, and a great first step to eliminating chloramine from both drinking water and bathing water.

CamelBak Relay Filter Pitcher (~$20 on
CamelBak Relay Filtering Pitcher

Much like the Pentek filter above, this CamelBak filtering pitcher is an easy way to give chloramine the kick on the cheap. However, also like the Pentek filter, this CamelBak simply disassembles the chloramine molecule and filters out the chlorine, leaving you with traces of ammonia in your water. Still an improvement, and enough to get any chlorine-y flavor out of your drinking water.

Apex 50 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System (~$175 on
Apex Reverse Osmosis Filters Chloramine

While a bit more of a commitment than the other two products above, this Apex reverse osmosis filtration system is remarkably affordable at under $200, but it will require some installation. However, since it makes use of extensive filtration in combination with reverse osmosis treatment, the Apex effectively removes chloramine entirely, getting rid of both the chlorine and ammonia components.

Of course, the Apex is designed to do much more than just get rid of chloramine, so it produces some exceptionally purified water which takes care of concerns about most common household contaminants. In our personal testing of the Apex, it is relatively easy to install and water purified through the system tastes exceptional, comparable to some much more expensive $400-$500+ home filtration systems. Certainly an affordable way to take care of your chloramine problem and make sure you have tasty clean water for everyone.

Hydro-Logic 31035 100-GPD Stealth-RO100 Reverse Osmosis Filter (~$170 on Logic Reverse Osmosis Filter Eliminates Chloramine

This reverse osmosis filtration system from Hydro-Logic is an affordable and very easy to install option which will remove chloramines from your drinking water supply. Much easier to install than the Apex above yet performing almost just as well (the Apex provides some more complete and intensive filtration,) the Hydro Logic is a good option for those primarily worried about removing chlorine or chloramine. Just hook it up to your sinks cold water supply (don’t connect it to hot water as heat will destroy the filter membrane!) and turn it on to begin producing clean, fresh, chloramine-free reverse osmosis water.

How To Tell If Chloramine Is In Your Water

Not sure if there is chloramine in your water or not? If you get your water from a public water utility, you can request this information from your water company. In some cases it might be available online, or distributed as information with your bill or in information packets.


If for some reason you can’t access this information, you can test yourself with a testing kit, or submit a water sample for a laboratory test. Learn more about how to find out what is in your water with our article “How To Test Water Quality At Home.”

Wrapping It Up

Regardless of how safe or effective chloramine might be, it is nice to know we have the option to filter it out before it ever enters our bodies. Though chloramine is doubtlessly a highly useful tool for disinfecting our water and keeping our water supply safe, it is unnecessary for us to actually drink it when quality filtration is available capable of removing chloramine. Don’t gamble with your own health and the health of your family in the face of uncertainty regarding chemical disinfectants. Install a quality filtration system to put a stop to chloramine – and any other water contaminants – in their tracks.

What do you think about chloramine? Let us know in the comments section.

3 thoughts on “Simple Guide to Chloramine Filters & Chloramine In Drinking Water”

  1. Your article doesn’t appear to mention that aluminium is used in the filtering process, & also no mention of a Catalytic Carbon filter.

  2. I wonder what Jim means by “aluminum is used in the filtering process”. Is it that aluminum is present in the Apex, Hidro-Logic or Pentek systems? Is aluminum present in RO or active carbon?
    With respect to his second remark, Pentek use catalytic carbon. It is an enhanced form of active carbon that takes care of the chloramine. Terms are often confusing and producers are not always very clear describing their products. This article is an interesting reading


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