NJ Chloramine Facts
New Jersey American Water has transitioned to chloramination in its treated water for customers in its Coastal North water system to ensure that our drinking water continues to comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) drinking water standards.
The EPA is imposing more stringent standards to reduce health risks associated with disinfection byproducts (DBP) in chlorinated water. These DBPs form when chlorine reacts with naturally-occurring organic materials, such as decomposing plant material, in the raw water. Since chloramine is not as reactive as chlorine with organic materials, it produces substantially lower concentrations of DBPs. In addition, chloramine is more effective at extending disinfection through the pipelines that distribute water to customers’ homes and businesses.
The new treatment process means that your drinking water is disinfected with chloramine residual instead of free chlorine. Chloramination is a common disinfection process used by the water industry in which a small amount of ammonia in water is added to chlorine in water at the end of our treatment process. The EPA widely accepts chloramine as an effective treatment to prevent the waterborne transmission of parasites that are capable of causing sickness. For decades, cities across the United States and Canada have relied on chloramine to treat their drinking water. In addition, New Jersey American Water brings almost 30 years of experience using chloramine to treat water in its Raritan System, which serves customers in Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex and Union Counties.
While most customers will not notice any change in their water, some might notice that the taste and odor of chlorine is reduced. Please note that two groups of customers need to take special precautions: kidney dialysis patients and fish owners. For more information, visit Precautions for Dialysis Patients and Fish Owners. Chloramine is safe for all mammals – including dogs, cats -- as well as birds. More information for fish, amphibian and fish pond owners.
New Jersey American Water transitioned to chloramines June 12, 2012 in its Coastal North System
As a result of the new more stringent drinking water standards, New Jersey American Water successfully changed the way its drinking water is treated for our customers in the following areas on June 12, 2012: