We have received some information from Mr. Richard Barnes, External Affairs Manager at the NJ American Water Company. (His office: 856 782 2371).
We have also asked the company for results of tests of our drinking water in Ocean Grove — ammonia and chloramine content for comparison to EPA safe level recommendations. Barnes has not yet responded to this request.
Also, here is a link to our August 13, 2012 article on this subject —-PG
What follows is reprinted from a water company handout, supplied by Richard Barnes:
Fish, Amphibian and Fish Pond Owners
Why are chloramines toxic to fish, reptiles and amphibians?
Chloramines are a combination of chlorine and ammonia, both which are harmful for fish, amphibians and reptiles. When water that contains chloramines is digested by humans that water is neutralized by the digestive system before it reaches the bloodstream. Since chloramines enter directly into the bloodstream of fish through gills, this inhibits the red blood cells’ ability to carry oxygen.
What precautions should fish shops, hobbyists and aquaculture businesses take?
Chloramines must be neutralized or removed from the water that is used in fish tanks, ponds and aquariums. Unlike free chlorine, chloramines do not dissipate as quickly from water. Chloramines should also be removed from the water that you use to top off fish ponds. Please consult your local pet store for more information
Will letting water sit for a few days cause chloramines to disappear?
No. Unlike chlorine, which will eventually dissipate, chloramines may take weeks to disappear.
What methods are available to remove chloramines and ammonia?
Chloramines can be removed in two ways:
With a carbon filter that contains a high-quality granular activated carbon, or with water treatment products designed to remove chloramines. Ammonia must also be removed because of the potentially toxic effect it may have on fish. Biological filters and natural zeolites can be effective at removing ammonia.
Will chloramines harm other pets?
No. Chloramines is only potentially harmful to fish and other aquatic or semi-aquatic life. Chloramines is safe for cats, dogs and birds.
Will boiling or reverse osmosis remove chloramines?
No. Chloramine cannot be removed by boiling water, reverse osmosis, adding salt or letting water stand in an open container to dissipate.
Is there a test to determine if the water is safe for aquatic animals?
Yes. Tests are available. Aquarium owners can monitor the ammonia and “total” chlorine (not free chlorine) concentrations using a total chlorine test or combined chlorine test. These tests can be found at your local pet or pool supply stores.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you have additional questions, please contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-652-6987.
“New Jersey American Water” and the star logo are the registered trademarks of American Water Works Company, Inc. All rights reserved.