Precautions for Kidney Dialysis Patients and Fish Owners

Although the use of chloramine is proven to be safe, kidney dialysis patients and fish owners must take special care not to use water directly from the tap. As with chlorine, chloramine must be removed from water that is used in the kidney dialysis process and from water that is used in fish tanks or ponds. Please follow these precautions:

Kidney Dialysis Patients

In the dialysis process, water comes in direct contact with the bloodstream. Just like chlorine, the presence of chloramine in dialysis water would be toxic and must be removed.

Dialysis systems already pre-treat their source water to remove chlorine. However, some modifications might be necessary to remove chloramines. Consult your dialysis provider or health care practitioner for more information on your particular treatment need.

Medical facilities that perform dialysis are responsible for purifying the water, which enters the dialysis machines. Consult your physician if you have any questions.

Although Pennsylvania American Water has notified the region’s medical facilities, you should remind your physician of the switch to chloramine.

If you use a home dialysis machine, check with your physician. He/she will most likely recommend the appropriate type of treatment. Many home dialysis service companies are able to make the necessary modifications.

Kidney dialysis patients can drink, cook and bathe in the water, because the digestive process neutralizes chloramine before it reaches the bloodstream. Chloraminated water can be used without treatment for these general uses.

Fish Owners

Both chlorine and chloramines are toxic in very low levels and must be removed from the water used for aquatic life. Most pet stores sell disinfectant-removal products that can be added to the tap water prior to introduction to the fish tank or pond.

Consult your local pet supply store for specific assistance on recommended products.

Chloramine is a very stable disinfectant and will remain in water for weeks. You are advised to remove chloramines from any water used for fish or aquatic life. This approach will provide maximum protection for your pets.