City Water with Chloramine

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Gary Bowling, Jul 5, 2021.

  1. Gary Bowling

    Gary Bowling gabo

    Joined:
    May 30, 2021
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have a friend who is looking for a solution. His water test shows hardness of 179 and iron of 0.6ppm and it's municipal water with Chloramine.

    The water test results show that he can easily achieve soft water with a standard salt based water softener.

    But I know nothing about the effects of Chloramine on a water softener. I've read here where the life of your resin is reduced with chlorine, I would guess the same or maybe even worse with Chloramine.

    For drinking water and refrigerator water, he's keen to use an RO system, which seems right and as I understand it would remove the Chloramine for their drinking water.

    So my big question is the effects of Chloramine on a softener? Does something need to be done to remove that prior to the softener? Or is it just continue with a standard softener with reduced life of his media?

    What would be the best recommendation?

    Thanks, gabo
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I am skeptical that those numbers came from a test of water from your friend's faucet.

    It's my understanding that a catalytic carbon backwashing filter can remove chloromine before the softener, plus some other stuff. Most would just go with 10% crosslinked resin and accept reduced resin life. I am not a pro.
     
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  4. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Chloramine is a blend of chlorine and ammonia. it is tougher to remove compared to plain chlorine which is easily removed with plain granular activated carbon (GAC).

    Softener resin that has 10% crosslinking will better tolerate constant chlorine and chloramine exposure vs standard 8% crosslink resin, but the oxidative nature of the chemicals will negatively impact the lifespan of the resin regardless.

    Iron within well water is normally ferrous (clear, dissolved) in nature, but exposure to oxygen or chlorine will cause the iron to be converted to a ferric state (red, rust) which will usually precipitate from the water or maybe easily filtered out using a sediment filter. You said there is 0.6ppm iron as tested. Is that test from a sample of water from his home, or is that as reported in the town's water quality report? While ferrous iron may be removed by a softener and will consume softening capacity so that compensation must be factored in, ferric iron will not be removed by a softener but will require removal using a filter prior to the softener.

    RO will not remove chlorine or chloramine, but prior to the RO membrane, there will be 1 or more carbon cartridges to remove those and many other contaminants before contact with the membrane. The most common RO membrane does not tolerate chlorine and so it is important those chemicals are removed prior. Although carbon cartridge(s) are relatively small, the low flow rate through the carbon for most RO systems will ensure sufficient contact time for the small amount of media to be effective.

    To remove chloramine at point of entry, a large volume of Catalytic Carbon will be effective. A CC filter system will be similar in size and appearance to a softener but without a brine tank. Depending on the flow rate and water consumption requirements for the family, 2 ft3 CC media is usually the smallest amount recommended for a chloramine point of entry system, but as the most effective flow rate for any carbon media is between 1-3 GPM per ft3 media, a larger quantity of media will increase contact time and will therefore increase the effective flow rate. A backwashing valve is recommended for any carbon system so as to periodically flush away physical contaminants that entered from the water supply, and also reclassify the media to change the pathway water will follow through the media to increase the effectiveness of filtration.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
  5. Bryceslu

    Bryceslu New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2021
    Location:
    Lansing MI
    It depends if you want to filter out the chloramine or not. The better question is what is the effect of chloramine to your body. My opinion is to get rid of it unless you like showering in chemicals. Using a backwashing catalytic carbon filter tank before the softener is what I have.

    also what reach4 said…179 seems quite high for city water.
     
  6. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    179 ppm / 17.1 = ~10.5 grains per gallon.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I was skeptical of the iron level out of a faucet at a house with city water. Normally the iron, in the presence of chloromine, turns to ferric iron, and settles out on the way to the house.
     
  8. Bryceslu

    Bryceslu New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2021
    Location:
    Lansing MI
    Ahh lol I see.
     
  9. Gary Bowling

    Gary Bowling gabo

    Joined:
    May 30, 2021
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks for all the info. I didn't ask where his water test was from, but those are very good questions especially about the iron content. Now that I think about it, I'm wondering if those numbers are from the city. He's building a new house and he's not had plumbing for too long, so I'm not sure if he's had a test since then.

    Our county offers a laboratory water test that is only $22, which lists hardness and iron content, so it's easy to get a good test here. I'll suggest he do that.

    Couple more questions in the meantime. How is the maintenance on a backwashing CC filter? Lifespan of the media, etc? From the responses it seems like a backwashing CC filter with a standard softener is the way to go. Maybe a big blue sediment filter in front of the CC? Is there much benefit in having an RO filter for the sink/refrigerator after that? Seems like those two with possibly the sediment filter would take care of most of what is there.

    Thanks, G
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2021
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I am almost sure the numbers would be from the city. That doesn't make the hardness number useless. Hardness levels don't change much in the pipeline. Iron levels do and chloromine/chlorine levels do-- they drop. So if the chloromine level out of the water treatment plant is 3.5 ppm, it might be 2 ppm or 0.6 ppm by the time it hits your friend's lot. Iron levels drop faster.

    So the city water at the end of the pipe would be easier on the resin than water from closer to the treatment plant.
     
  11. Gary Bowling

    Gary Bowling gabo

    Joined:
    May 30, 2021
    Location:
    Michigan

    Thanks, no worries, we definitely need a better water test. Isn't a problem, I talked to him this morning and he's going down to the county building to get a test kit today. Probably take a couple of weeks to get the results back.

    G
     
  12. Gary Bowling

    Gary Bowling gabo

    Joined:
    May 30, 2021
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ok, so we finally got our test results back. Hardness 200, Iron 0.1.

    So with the municipal water with chloramine and this level of hardness/iron, maybe a catalytic carbon backwashing filter then a standard water softener for the whole house seems to be a logical way to go.

    After that's in, if they want to add an RO for their refrigerator/drinking water they can do that. But they may find it works well without it.

    Thanks for the help.

    G
     
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